McCall Baptist Church

2 Timothy 1:6-10 Fan the Flame

2 Timothy 1:1-5

Run, Timothy, Run


  1. Introduction

We are beginning a new Bible study- the 2nd book of Timothy - part of the Pastoral Epistles of 1 Timothy and Titus.

Normally we would begin with 1st Timothy and move through to Titus but there is a unique theme and character that we see in 2 Timothy that merits our expository study.

As this letter is read and studied it will be helpful to us it if we keep in mind that this is a personal letter written to a very dear friend - Timothy, who was experiencing some difficulty in his pastorate ministry at Ephesus and in his Christian walk.

Paul did not have much time before he would loosen the mores of his ship and sail home so he writes to Timothy - as it were- his last will and testament.


What if you were a part of a 50 mile marathon that took you up over Seechesh to Bergdorf and back to Camp Pinewood the staging area.

As you line up - next to you is an old man.  He looks weather-worn and it appears from what you could see his body had scars all over it. It seemed to you this man had been up and over the mountain.

What is your 1st thought?

Why is he here - in this race?  

This is a hard race and paved with some heavy-duty obstacles and it is no place for a man of his age.

The race begins:

The older man pulls out and you are astounded but he holds his own for some distance of the race  - then to your amazement he pulls ahead with steady and strong strides, measured -- you think “he has been here before”

As you end the finish line you look ahead and see this old man finishing ahead of everyone else.

He not only finished the race but he won it!

You cannot explain it!

And now - he turns and runs back to a young man struggling and encourages him to finish strong - “Come on, you can make it! Hang in there! Don’t quit!”

If that really happened, I would want to know,

“What does this old guy have that I don’t?” Clearly, the old man knows something about endurance- perseverance.

He is an example of how to finish well.

How did he do that?

My friends- this is a real race!

You are in this race today if you are in Christ Jesus.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)


As Believers in Christ Jesus - we are all at some point in our own marathon.  

Don’t we want to know how to encourage and be encouraged, to help others to persevere and to endure ourselves?

Then we need to study 2 Timothy

  1.  Background

Paul led Timothy to Jesus Christ during his 1st missionary journey.  1 Corinthians 4:15-17 and other passages Paul calls to the fact that he is Timothy spiritual father.  Timothy was from Lystra (Acts 16:1-3) where Paul was stoned to death and drug out of town but revived and remained in the area of Derbe and Lystra to preach.  He probably came into contact with Timothy here as well as his mother Lois and grandmother Eunice who were true Old Testament Jews and were knowledgeable of the Messianic prophecies so when the truth of Jesus was presented, they became believers in Christ Jesus.

Paul choses Timothy during his 2nd missionary trip to follow him (Acts 16:1-3) Timothy became a capable minister for Jesus Christ under Paul’s training.

After Paul’s 3rd missionary journey and his 2 years in Jerusalem - incarcerated, he travels to Rome to be placed in House arrest while Timothy is sent to Philippi and then Ephesus as the pastor.

Paul is released for a short time but then Nero, being pressed by his people for burning down Rome and all the wealthy homes and businesses - blames it all on the Christians of the Way, a very severe persecution began and both Paul and Timothy are caught up in it.


Paul is now back in prison but not house arrest-  this time he is in the crowded, damp and cold Mamertime Prison - a dungeon,  shackled and  awaiting execution,

Could Paul have been discouraged at this time?

Sure!!!  -  discouraged and cold and shackled as well -without his books and parchments.

His fellow missionaries have turned away from him,

2 Timothy 1: 15 “You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.

Demas had forsaken him as he noted in  4:10.

Paul warns Timothy about Alexander the coppersmith, who did Paul much harm. And in vs 16 he says “At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me.” We read that only Luke was with him after Onesiphorus went back to his church.


Paul was also concerned about ecclesiastical error creeping into the churches he helped found.  He saw wolves’ in sheep’s clothing coming among the brethren.

Hymenaeus and Philetus had gone astray from the truth, teaching that the resurrection had already taken place, thus upsetting the faith of some in vs 17-18 and vs 3:6 Paul tell us that there are those who creep into households and capture weak women burdened with sins and led astray by various passions - easy prey for deceitful false teachers.


Paul knew that the day was soon coming when professing Christians would not endure sound doctrine, but seek teachers to tickle their ears.


Paul points out about the coming days of difficulty  when people would become - lovers of self, lovers of money, arrogant, proud abusive, disobedient to parents, ungrateful and such.


Yep, Paul could have become discouraged!

If there was ever a prime candidate for discouragement, Paul was it!

Who could fault him if he decided simply to quit, go do something else, begin a tent and leather shop along the shores of the Mediterranean sea.


  • Application - according to the The Fuller Institute, George Barna, Lifeway Schaeffer Institute of Leadership Development, and Pastoral Care Inc. - We live in a culture where pastors are bailing out of the ministry in droves - 1,500 pastors left the ministry every month last year.
  • 66% of churches have no lay counseling support.
  • 30% of churches have no documentation clearly outlining what the church expects of their pastor.
  • 1 out of every 10 pastors will actually retire as a pastor- the rest-another profession


But it is not only pastors but many dear believers find themselves burned - out in serving and in life general.

But wait - 2 Timothy tells us that Paul sprinting across the finish line and coming back to Timothy he says “Come on Timothy, don’t quit, your race isn’t over - keep going and be strong and of good comfort.

When Paul speaks about his own ministry he says

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.


That doesn’t sound like a quitter to me!

That does not sound like a man who is discouraged or ungrateful or despondent but one who is victorious and pressing forward (See Philippians 3)

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.


When Paul speaks to Timothy about how to encourage others and to persevere -


I want to listen!


III.  Greeting vs 1-5

  1.  Recognizing Authority vs. 1

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus,

Paul cared deeply for Timothy and had discerned that he was probably in some spiritual distress from reading the text of this letter (vs 6).  Timothy needed Paul’s encouragement and resolve but to begin with, right now

he needed another thing first:

Timothy needed to recognize Paul’s apostleship was by the will of God

Friendship does not preclude authority

Paul could understand for he - himself was under the authority and loving discipline hand of God.  


If we are to encourage and motivate others this authority is needed in a loving and gentle way.

Trying to be everyone’s friends in midst of crisis and meltdown is not always helpful.

Timothy knew that Paul, his mentor was an Apostle and Paul reminds him in the first verse that despite their friendship and spiritual relationship, Paul is writing to Timothy with spiritual authority given him by God - Paul was under the hand of the Holy Spirit.

You love your children, but that does not remove the authority you have over them - there is authority to be recognized.

You use your authority to help teach, mold and guide your children along the path of life.  You help prepare them for life and some of the most teachable moments are when they are floundering and struggling with issues.  

Paul is saying “Timothy. I am an apostle by the will of God in conformity to the promise of life in Christ Jesus.  

My work is proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ - that is absolute , that is the key- every father wants their children to know Jesus.

Every Christian wants their friends and acquaintances to know Jesus- that is who we are.  


    B.- I want God’s Best for You vs 2

To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Paul wants Gods best for Timothy.

Timothy was Paul’s beloved child in the faith

  • GRACE - Flowing from the wisdom of God - Paul wanted Timothy to see his concern for others and his devotion to the welfare of others flows out of a strong relationship with Jesus Christ. God has the only way for redemption- through Christ- through the cross - that is Grace.
  • Mercy - flowing from the love of God.  Timothy - only God can still all our fears. (note there was absolute terror flowing through the churches at this time. Terror in the arena, terror on the road to Nero’s gardens - but - God could and would provide all the strength necessary to face each trial.
  • Peace - flows from the power of God. It is God who draws the line in the sand and says “the terror stops here”; “The attack on my children stops here”  No one- absolutely no one and nothing can cross that line and remove the perfect peace we have in Christ Jesus.

    When we move our eyes off of ourselves and our issues and place them on others we seem to function and operate better.

Timothy knew that but sometimes, we lose sight of that truth.

Paul knew that Timothy understood he was saved by divine grace and that he desired, deep down that this redemption would be real in the lives of others.

Paul knew that Timothy lived by God’s mercy and wanted others to discover how to live through the mercy of God as well and

Paul knew that young Timothy wanted others to live in God’s peace of both mind and heart.

Paul wanted Timothy to have the best that God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord offer to redeemed sinners - grace to cover sin; mercy to overrule misery and peace to dominate life.  Paul wanted full spiritual blessing for his young son in the faith- Timothy.


  1.  -  Guard what was entrusted to you vs 3-5

I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.


Paul appreciates Timothy - he thanks God for him and he constantly prayers for him.

What a wonderful way to encourage others

  • I really appreciate  your service and your ministry
  • I want you to know that I remember you constantly     in my prayers, night and day - (the word for     constantly refers to that which is without     ceasing, not stopping, continuously)  1 Thess     5:17 “pray without ceasing”
  • I long to see you …so that I may be filled with joy.

    To put it simply, Paul missed Timothy.


We need to take some lessons here!

How important is it for us, in the body of Christ to recognize that people are hurting or burning out or simply discouraged?

How far would a personal encouragement mean?

How would it make others feel to know that you are praying for them continuously?  What if share with them that we missed them and are anxious to see them again.

I believe this would help to encourage them and motivate them to continue - even- when the road is hard.  

  • Finally, Paul tells Timothy that he is thankful for Timothy’s upbringing.  Paul is encouraged that Timothy's mother and grandmother had genuine faith and without pretense

What if we told someone, I am thankful for your parents who taught you the way, truth and life in Christ Jesus.

A Godly heritage is a good thing and is an encouraging thing.


  1.  Conclusion/Application
  •   Many people who could easily identify the name Martin Luther would be hard pressed to name Luther's close associate and ally. He was Philip Melanchthon, a brilliant theologian and teacher who dedicated himself to explaining and defending the truths that formed the heart of the Protestant Reformation.
  • Spurgeon fellow pastor, such as William Garrett Lewis of Westbourne Grove Church, an older man who along with Spurgeon went on to found the London Baptist Association.
  • Jonathon Edwards was an American Pastor famed for his messages but David  Brainerd, his future son-in-law died very young while doing missionary work among the native Americans

Such was Timothy to Paul - a younger companion and co-laborer for Jesus in the good news of the Gospel of Christ

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