2 Timothy (Part 11)

vs.15-18. 1. The close of this first chapter is a call to faithfulness in relationships. A. As a good minister, Paul deserved better treatment than abandonment in a time of tribulation by those to whom he had ministered. B. Onesiphorus stood apart from others and set a good example of fidelity. C. What applied here in a relation to a minister would also apply in a general sense in everyday relationships. 2. All those in Asia who had once identified with Paul had turned away from him. A. Paul had labored diligently and faithfully to the people of that area. ACT 19:8-10; 20:17-21. B. Therefore, this was a particularly hurtful “thank you.” Paul was elsewhere witness to the fact that the greatness of his love for brethren was not reciprocal. 2CO 12:15. C. The reason for their turning away was that, unlike Onesiphorus, they were apparently ashamed of Paul's chain (his bonds). They were ashamed of the prisoner of the Lord. ct/w v.8. D. Theirs was not exactly a remembering of someone in bonds. HEB 13:2. 2 Timothy 9-23-07 Page 20 E. There is a tendency to distance ourselves from even close acquaintances when they are unpopular or when troubles come upon them lest their grief rub off onto ourselves. PSA 38:11 c/w JOB 6:21. (1) Job's closest acquaintances became strangers in his affliction. JOB 19:13-19. (2) Christ witnessed many disciples' desertion even before His betrayal. JOH 6:66. (3) At His arrest, the eleven abandoned Him. MAT 26:56. (4) Peter then denied Him thrice. MAT 26:69-75. (5) Under the guilt of our sin, even the Father turned away from Christ. MAT 27:46. (6) When Paul first answered the charges against him, he was very alone. 2TI 4:16. (7) The godly should take note. There will be times when principles or tribulation will leave them very alone with nobody but God for comfort. 2TI 4:17; PSA 27:10; 1SAM 30:6. F. Paul specifically mentioned Phygellus and Hermogenes as deserters. (1) It is not an unbiblical thing to warn against specific individuals or groups by name. MAT 16:6; 2TI 2:17; 4:10, 14; TIT 1:12; 3JO 1:9-10; REV 2:6. (2) Warnings against wrong must be specific as well as general and such specific warnings are NOT hate speech. (3) This passage is the only place where Phygellus or Hermogenes is mentioned in Scripture. a. This is their epitaph by which men remember them to this day! b. Contrast this epitaph with the singularly mentioned people in ROM 16:5-15 or that of Onesiphorus. c. If we may only leave one thing to the world, let it be a good name. PRO 22:1. 3. In contrast to the Asians, Phygellus and Hermogenes, Onesiphorus did not shrink from identifying with Paul even in his chain. vs.16-18. A. Onesiphorus' kindness to Paul was not a one-time effort to satisfy the form or letter of charity's demands and soothe his own conscience. (1) He OFT refreshed Paul in MANY things. (2) Christian duty is more than what one must do, it extends to zeal and forwardness in doing good. 2CO 8:1-5. B. Onesiphorus may well have been putting himself under Roman scrutiny for being so attached to Paul, or even subjecting himself to similar tribulation. (1) There is a time for discretion when under an ungodly regime. JDG 6:11-12; 1KI 18:2-4. (2) But there are also times for open frankness even with risk. 1KI 18:11-16; EST 5:15-16. (3) Paul's chain was owing to the hope of Israel, which was/is the resurrection. ACT 28:20; 26:6-8. a. Onesiphorus obviously shared in this hope by faith. b. The hope of the resurrection has power to loose the fear of death. HEB 2:14-15. c. Therefore, Paul's chain was nothing for him to be ashamed of. C. Onesiphorus did not abandon his family or his necessary duties elsewhere to go and spend all his time with Paul. (1) “But when he was in Rome, he sought [Paul] out very diligently...” (2) He had previously exercised himself thus for Paul at Ephesus. v.18. (3) As he had opportunity, he did good and did so with diligent zeal. GAL 6:10. (4) I am blessed to have had the faithful comfort and support of brethren like Onesiphorus who have stuck by me and refreshed me when many had turned away. D. Onesiphorus diligently (with care and persistency) sought Paul and found him. Men will accomplish a diligent search for that which means much to them. PSA 64:6. (1) Comforting Paul meant enough to Onesiphorus that he would expend considerable effort to find him. a. This is a proof of one's love for another. Charity endures, suffers and bears things for the welfare of that which it seeks. 1CO 13:4-7. b. Of what validity is a professed love for someone who is not worth any more effort finding than the dime you dropped? c. One of the reasons that we love the Lord Jesus Christ is because He diligently sought us and bought us. (2) Some spirit didn't mysteriously guide Onesiphorus to Paul so as to excuse him from having to make an effort. (3) Nor do we read that because he wasn't in the first place Onesiphorus looked that he concluded it was not God's will for him to find Paul. (4) Faithful men will be diligent to not allow obstacles to forbid good duty. MAR 2:3-5. (5) God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. HEB 11:6. a. Precious stones require digging, mining, sifting. How much moreso the word of God? PSA 119:72, 127; PRO 2:3-5. b. By desire, searching and studying one finds the reward of the knowledge of God. 1PE 2:2; ACT 17:11-12; 2TI 2:15. c. The depth of the believer's grace and knowledge is according to the depth of his digging in and through the word of grace and knowledge. 2PE 1:2. E. Paul requited Onesiphorus' kindness by praying for mercy for him and his 2 Timothy 9-23-07 Page 22 household. c/w 2CO 9:12-14. (1) One not only does well to himself when he is faithful, he does well for his household also. HEB 11:7; 1CO 7:14. a. The household of Christ is blessed because of HIS faithfulness. ROM 3:21-22; HEB 3:1-6. b. By contrast, consider the houses of Eli and Judas. 1SAM 3:13-14; PSA 109:8-13. (2) This is a prayer that is sure to be answered since it was guaranteed by Christ. MAT 10:41-42 c/w HEB 6:10. (3) Ebedmelech realized a temporal mercy for similar kindness to a man of God. JER 38:7; 39:15-18. (4) Those who show mercy to the Lord's brethren will receive mercy in that day, the day of Christ's appearing. 2TI 4:1, 8 c/w MAT 5:7; 25:31-46. a. Their deeds of kindness are not meritorious of everlasting life; they are the evidence of it. HEB 6:9-10. b. Even this good man would need mercy in that day. JUDE 1:21. F. The Holy Spirit's commendation of Onesiphorus reminds us that it isscriptural to commend specific persons and groups by name. ROM 16:1-15; 2CO 8:1-2; 9:1-2. G. Paul's words about Onesiphorus' diligent constancy in coming to him would be a powerful stimulus for Timothy to diligently come to Paul! 2TI 4:1, 9.
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