SGA II Timothy Lesson 11

Lesson 11
II Timothy 4:1-8

Henry Mahan

Vs. 1. This is an unfortunate chapter division, for our lesson must begin with verse 16 of the preceding chapter. The word "therefore" appropriately connects Scripture with preaching. Since all Scripture is God-breathed and is necessary and profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction and the growth of believers, we must "preach the Word". All wisdom and understanding are contained in the Scriptures (Isa. 8:19, 20; I Peter 2:2). Neither ought we to learn, nor preachers to draw their instructions and doctrines, from any other source! The readin8 of the Scriptures is recommended, but private reading does not hinder, nor make void the ministry of pastor-teachers! (Eph. 4:11-14.)

Paul charges Timothy and every minister of Christ before God, who chose us, and before the Redeemer; who saved us and whose gospel we preach, to be diligent, faithful and true to his Word, for we shall surely give an account of our ministry when Christ comes again (Heb. 13:17; I Cor. 3:13). "The quick and the dead" are those who are alive when he comes and those who have died but will be raised (John 5:22). What does it matter what men think of us or our message? It is Christ to whom we are accountable.

Vs. 2. There is no season for preaching the Word of God; we are to be earnestly, constantly and wholly engaged in it at all times. We ate to be preparing for it or performing it in all seasons. Reprove errors of doctrine and spirit usin8 the Scriptures! Rebuke sin and error, some privately, others more publicly, according to the nature and circumstances of the offence. Exhort men to the duties of faith, to love one another, do good works, walk as becomes the gospel of Christ and hold fast their profession with gentleness and doctrine! Reproofs, rebukes and exhortations will utterly fail if they ate not based on the Word of God and given in a spirit of humility, meekness and patience! No man is to obey because we say so, but because God says so. If the Word is delivered in harshness, it irritates both heart and mind. All of our exhortations, rebukes and teaching are to have one source and foundation – the Scriptures!

Vs. 3. This is the reason for this solemn charge. The time will come (and has come) when people will not receive the gospel of God's grace in Christ. Self-righteous by nature, free-willers in mind, proud and boastful in spirit and lovers of pleasure mow than lovers of God, they will turn their backs on the message of grace, express their indignation at it, treat it with ridicule and contempt, and gather to themselves many false preachers and teachers who preach what men want to hear, promoting doctrines of free will and the dignity of men. Those who trust their religion love to have their ears tickled with pleasant music, declarations of peace and words of praise for their works.

Vs. 4. They will turn aside from hearing the truth, not being able to receive it nor to rejoice in it, and win mm to vain, empty, useless and unprofitable religious fables, ceremonies and novelties. The only remedy for this wandering is for ministers to adhere closely to the pure doctrine of Christ (II Thess. 2:10-12).

Vs. 5. The more error and false teaching prevail, the more earnestly we must labour to preach the troth. The nearer danger and division are at hand, the more diligently we must watch, keeping calm and steady, doing the work of an enthusiastic, bold witness of Christ, fully performing the duties of our ministry, seeking not our own but the things of Christ. Preach the gospel, administer the ordinances and be a true and faithful servant of Christ, and we shah not be ashamed.

Vs. 6, 7. "I am ready to be sacrificed, my life is ready to be poured out (as a drink offering)," which shows that Paul knew that he would be martyred (Acts 20:22-25). He did not fear death nor shrink from it, calling it his "departure" (a removal from one place to another) (Phil. 1:21-24).

"I have fought a good fight" (I Tim. 6:12). Whatever may be the opinion of the world, he declares that his fight for truth and the glory of Christ was both good and honourable.

"I have finished my course." The race is over, his days and years are finished (or the course of his ministry) (Job 14:5).

"I have kept the faith" – his profession of faith, the doctrine of faith which was committed to his trust and his faithfulness to his hearers (Acts 20:26, 27).

Vs.8. "A crown of righteousness." The happiness, glory and future state, of all believers is signified by a crown, (1) on account of the glory and excellency of it; (2) in agreement with the character of saints – kings; and (3) because we are raised to sit among princes and to inherit the throne of glory.

This is called "a crown of righteousness" because it is perfect holiness and comes to us through the righteousness of Christ. We shall be like him (I John 3:2).

"This crown is siren by God, not to me only, but to every believer." Every believer loves him and longs for his return (II Tim. 1:12).

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.