2 Timothy (Part 10)


1. Paul commands Timothy to hold fast (firmly) the sound words that he had heard.
A. Here a second-generation minister is being charged to stick to the apostolic doctrine.
(1) This hardly supports the idea of continuing and novel prophecy.
(2) This opposes the introduction of extra-biblical knowledge, ex cathedra utterances, philosophies or “...oppositions of science falsely so called” (1TI 6:20).
(3) “...the SAME commit thou to faithful men” (2TI 2:2).
(4) Embellishments, alterations and corruptions of Paul's gospel (even if by Paul himself) would merit a curse. GAL 1:8-9.
B. As an apostle, Paul received these words directly from Jesus Christ by revelation. GAL 1:11-12; EPH 3:1-5; 1CO 2:12-13.
C. Timothy and ministers of future generations receive these words from Paul.
D. No new words are to be sought in respect of a completed revelation.
REV 22:18-19.
2. Sound: “In full accordance with fact, reason, or good sense; founded on true or well-established grounds; free from error, fallacy or logical defect.”
A. The Christian religion is not idiotic, mythical, fabulous; it is not in contradiction with genuine science or history nor is it self-contradictory.
(1) It reasons from the only valid premise (there is a Creator God) to the only valid conclusion: Jesus Christ is Lord and God with Whom men have to do. HEB 4:13-14.
(2) According to the definition, sound doctrine will be free from logical defect. A certain mark of heresy is that it condemns itself by illogical arguments and inconsistency. TIT 3:10-11.
(3) Of all the writers of Scripture, Paul sets forth the most logical presentations of doctrine.
(4) It is very appropriate for gospel ministers (like Timothy) to hold fast the form of Paul's sound words.
(5) Pauline logic derived from the revelation of Jesus Christ is the setting forth of truth and soberness to a lunatic world. ACT 26:24-25.
B. Consider how often Paul affirms the importance of sound words.
1TI 1:10; TIT 1:9, 13; 2:1-2, 8.
C. Sound words were emphasized to Timothy against the time when men would not endure sound doctrine. 2TI 4:3.
D. Sound words must not only be heard; they must be held fast.
PSA 119:31; PRO 4:4-5, 13, 20-22; 6:20-22; 7:1-2; 1CO 15:2; HEB 2:1.
3. Timothy was to hold fast the form (shape, arrangement of parts) of the sound words.
A. Ministers must hold fast to the arrangement of the words of Scripture, for it is in the grammar (syntax) of words that the soundness (logic) is presented and
B. Christ argued from the grammar of EXO 3:6 to counter the Sadducees' error.
MAT 22:23, 29-32.
C. Christ contended for the minute jots and tittles of the Law. MAT 5:18.
D. The punctuation marks of Scripture are importantly arranged parts of the language of Scripture which establish consistent truth and doctrine.
(1) The syntax and punctuation of EXO 12:40 is critical to a proper reconciliation of O.T. chronology. c/w GAL 3:17.
(2) The apostrophe in “Christ's” in GAL 3:29 is the difference between
pagan Gnosticism and grace!
E. For a minister to abandon or denigrate the form of sound words is bad form.
4. The form of sound words must be held fast in faith. They are to be constantly believed without wavering. JAM 1:6 c/w HEB 10:23.
5. These words must be held fast in love (PSA 119:97, 113, 163, 167); one will not hold tightly to that which he does not love. 2TH 2:10.
6. Faith and love are located in Christ Jesus; one cannot have genuine faith and love outside of Christ.
7. By grace within and the faithful, loving reception of the form of sound words from without comes a sound mind. 2TI 1:7.


1. This charge to keep connects to the previous charge to hold fast.
2. Timothy was charged to keep the good thing that was committed unto him.
A. Paul's first epistle to Timothy was a charge committed to him; it entrusted a responsibility or commission to Timothy. 1TI 1:18; 6:20.
B. This good thing committed unto Timothy was the ministry of the gospel with all the responsibilities attendant upon it. 1TI 1:11; 2CO 5:19 c/w 2CO 1:1.
C. God is faithful to keep that which ministers commit unto him (v.12); ministers should be faithful to keep that which God has committed to them.
D. “Well done, thou good and faithful servant...” (MAT 25:21) is what ministers who have kept that which was committed unto them may hear in the day of Christ.
3. Timothy is to keep this good thing BY the indwelling Holy Ghost.
A. The Holy Ghost indwells the believer. ROM 8:9; 1CO 6:19.
B. The Holy Ghost enables reception of the doctrine. 1CO 2:14.
C. The Holy Ghost is needed to keep the doctrine.
D. The grieving of the Holy Ghost (EPH 4:30) is a certain means to departing from the doctrine. 1TI 4:1.
4. The power of the indwelling Holy Ghost is utilized by the following steps.
A. The Spirit's power is experienced IN obedience to His word.
GAL 5:16 c/w REV 19:10; PSA 119:1-3.
B. However, believers must trust in God's power, not in their own performance.
1JO 5:4.
(1) A conquering Israel trusted God in their military campaigns; they were
but His instruments by which He conquered Canaan.
PSA 44:1-7 c/w HEB 11:30; PRO 21:31.
(2) Paul labored in the gospel but his trust was in the Lord and not in his labors. 2CO 3:4-5; 12:9.
(3) Peter could only succeed in obeying Christ's command to walk on the water when his faith was fixed on the Lord. MAT 14:28-31.
C. Believers must pray for divine enablement.
ROM 10:13; EPH 3:16; MAT 26:41.