but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,2 Timothy 1:10(NASB)
Being the last letter Paul would write, it is not surprising that this second letter to Timothy, his 'child in the faith' is intensely personal and charged with emotion. These final words from Paul to the young pastor, are reminiscent of the farewell address Moses gave to Israel before he transferred the reins of responsibility to Joshua.
No doubt Paul felt a similar sentiment as he prepared for his departure from this world into the next. Paul wanted Timothy to be equipped to confidently carry forth the torch of the gospel of God in the years ahead, so that the light of the glorious gospel of grace and the truth of our great salvation would be passed on from one generation to the next.
The truth Paul preached with a passion was that God's plan of redemption was made fully known to mankind, through the advent of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. He was the Messiah of Israel. He was the Saviour of mankind and the Light of the world. He abolished death and gave life and immortality to all who trust in Him. His life, sacrificial death, and glorious resurrection, brought eternal life and immortality to all who believe, so that the light of the gospel would bring them from darkness into the glorious light of truth.
This is a letter that was meant to give Timothy much encouragement and support, while providing him with detailed instruction on remaining true to the faith, and sound in doctrine. Paul also felt it necessary to warn Timothy of the difficulties and dangers in allowing false teachers to infiltrate the church... men like Jannes and Jambres who resisted Moses and blasphemed God.
He encouraged Timothy to stand fast in the evil day and warned of struggles ahead, approaching apostasy, and times of increasing danger. He even provided a comprehensive list of the ungodly characteristics that would expose these deceivers, to help Timothy identify evil-doers, and avoid those who are corrupt, worthless, resisting the truth, and disregarding the faith.
Paul did not want to minimise the coming perilous times, because Timothy needed to be prepared for what lay ahead. However, he did seek to encourage his fellow-labourer to be faithful to his calling, to build up the Body of Christ and to strengthen the resolve of this younger man, as he pressed on to the goal of his calling. Timothy had shown himself approved unto God, and Paul wanted him to be a bold and very courageous testimony to the truth, and to keep on sharing the good news of the gospel of God, and Jesus Christ His only begotten Son.
Paul knew that Timothy could be timid and was sometimes intimidated, and so he encouraged him not to be embarrassed to testify of the Lord Jesus, nor to be ashamed of Paul, his father in the faith. "Rather, share in suffering for the gospel, by relying on the power of God," were Paul's encouraging words. Paul had gone through many difficult times himself and suffered in many different ways, but he had learned that God's grace is sufficient, for His power is perfected in our weakness and timidity, and Paul longed for Timothy to prove this truth for himself.
"He has saved us and called us with a holy calling," he wrote to Timothy, "not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began." OH YES!! Paul knew the value of repetition. He knew that restating a fact is an important teaching tool, and it reminded Timothy that we are not saved by our own good works. We are redeemed by faith in the precious blood of Jesus.
Paul reminded Timothy of the training he received from his mother and grandmother in his youth and the precious faith he placed in Christ, for salvation. He encouraged Timothy to rekindle the passion for Christ he had, in bygone days, and to remember that God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but one of power and love and discipline.
He reminded him that God's redemption plan was formulated in the council chambers of heaven... before the world was founded... "but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus." He abolished death, through the sacrifice of Himself, and brought life and immortality to light through the good news that Christ died for our sin, was buried, and was raised the third day.
The gospel Paul preached to Timothy is the same gospel that we adore... for sin and death has been abolished in our lives and by faith in Him we have been given life and immortality. It was by grace that we have been given the light of the glorious gospel of Christ and it is by grace that He will illumine our path and bring us home victorious.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the truth of the old, old story, which has remained as fresh and impelling for believers today, as the day when Paul wrote his final epistle to Timothy, encouraging him to stand fast in the faith and to testify of God's perfect plan of salvation. I praise You for my great salvation, which was revealed at the coming of our Lord Jesus. Thank You that Christ was sent to abolish death and to bring life and hope to those who believe. Thank You that He is coming again to finish His work, when all things will be placed under His feet and Christ will be all in all. May I be strong and very courageous in my Christian walk, and use me for Your greater praise and glory. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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