2 TIMOTHY (Part 31)

vs.6-8. 1. In these verses Paul anticipates his death (which was apparently imminent), reflects upon the course of his ministry and rests in the hope of the believer: the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. 2. The word “for” suggests that it was in view of his death that Paul was here especially exhorting Timothy to carry on the work of the ministry. c/w DEU 31:14; 1KI 2:1-4. 3. Paul speaks with certainty about his end. A. “...the time of my departure is at hand” (v.6). B. “...I have finished my course...” (v.7). C. This implies a revelation from God about the specifics of his death. c/w LUK 2:26-29; 2PE 1:14-15. (1) The spirit of prophecy and revelation from God is not now operating as it was then. (2) If prophecy and revelation are still open, then Peter was in error to declare apostolic revelation a more sure word of prophecy to which believers should give heed. 2PE 1:19. (3) REV 22:18 declares a closed prophecy. (4) The only certain revelation that believers now receive concerning the time of their death is PRO 27:1; JAM 4:14. 4. Paul was “...NOW ready to be offered” (v.6). A. This implies that heretofore the time was not yet that he should be offered. (1) It is not that Paul was not personally prepared or not willing to give his life for Christ previously. He had long before counted all things loss in that sense. PHIL 3:8-10; ACT 20:24; 21:13. (2) Paul actually desired his departure from life, albeit with one reservation. PHIL 1:23-24. B. Paul was now ready to be offered because he had completed the course that God had laid out for him. (1) Paul knew by revelation that God intended for him to bear witness at Rome. ACT 19:21; 23:11. (2) Paul had done this. ACT 28:30-31; PHIL 1:12-14; 4:22; 2TI 4:17. C. That Paul was ready to be offered shows that he considered his death to be a sacrifice to God. (1) Offered: “Brought as an offering; presented for acceptance, etc.” (2) Offering: “The presenting of something to God (or to a deity or object of worship) as an act of worship or devotion; sacrifice; oblation.” (3) Paul lived UNTO the Lord and died UNTO the Lord. ROM 14:7-9. (4) Believers belong to Christ in life and death! (5) Paul's earnest expectation and hope was to magnify Christ in life and death. PHIL 1:20. D. Mind how Paul describes his death as a departure, not a termination. (1) Departure: “Separation, severance, parting.” (2) Something about a believer does not die when the body dies. JOH 11:26. (3) Death for the believer is a departure from the body and this world into the presence of Christ. PHIL 1:21-23; 2CO 5:6-8; LUK 23:43. (4) The inward man (soul and spirit) continue in conscious life in the presence of Christ. 2CO 4:16; ECC 12:7; REV 6:9-11. (5) Departed saints are in a state of peace, rest and comfort. ISA 57:1-2; LUK 16:22-25; REV 14:13. (6) Death for a believer is not leaving home; it is going home. HEB 11:13. 5. Paul could reflect upon his converted life with satisfaction, having fought a good fight. v.7. A. This good fight Paul fought is the good fight of faith. 1TI 6:12. B. The good fight is keeping the faith. 1TI 1:18-19; JUDE 1:3. C. One has fought a good fight if he keeps the faith unto the end. HEB 3:14; 1JO 2:24; COL 2:6-8. D. The powers of darkness will do everything they can to thwart a believer's attempts to keep the faith. The believer must fight to stand, hold his ground and keep the faith. EPH 6:10-18. (1) Warfare is the believer's lot in this life. The crown awaits “that day.” (2) Successful warfare requires putting on the WHOLE armor of God. (3) Truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, the word of God and mutual prayer are all needed for keeping the faith. (4) Failure to put on any of these may result in a believer failing to keep the faith. (5) It is in the believing practice of faith that one realizes the strength to keep the faith. JOS 1:5-9; PSA 27:14. 6. Paul here says, “...I have finished MY course....” (v.7). A. He had realized his determination as stated in ACT 20:24. B. Course: “The action of running, or moving onward. Onward movement in a particular path, as of the heavenly bodies, a ship, etc. A race.” (1) Paul frequently referred to Christian experience in terms of running a race. 1CO 9:24; GAL 2:2; PHIL 2:16. (2) This course is not a sprint; it is a marathon or steeplechase to be run with patience. HEB 12:1-2. (3) Jesus Christ has broken trail all the way to the finish line. HEB 6:20. C. This was Paul's particular course. Each believer has his own course to finish, his particular path to run. c/w ACT 13:25. D. One's course consists of God's leading in his life into opportunities for the usage of his God-given abilities. 1PE 4:10-11; GAL 6:10. E. The believer must keep faith in order to finish his course. GAL 5:7.
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