What Does 2 Timothy 1:15 Mean?

You are aware of the fact that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.

2 Timothy 1:15(NASB)
Picture courtesy of Courtesy of Ian & Sue Coate

Verse of the Day

Paul seemed to be aware in this letter to Timothy, that he had not much time left before he would be taken to be with the Lord. Maybe this is why there seems to be an urgency in his writing with an emphasis on remaining faithful to the Lord Jesus in times of trouble, standing firm on the truth of the gospel of Christ, and being diligent to present oneself to God as a faithful worker that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.

The letter Paul penned to Timothy strongly indicated that within the professing Church there were an increasing number of problems, with some departing from the faith and others who had become unfaithful and careless in their work and witness, not only to Paul, but in their ministry and towards the Lord Jesus Himself. 

Paul seems to want to impress on this young pastor, who would be one of the main pillars in the Church after he was gone, that faithfulness is a vital characteristic of the godly man or woman. Not only is God faithful to keep his Word (and Paul had been faithful in discipling Timothy with words of instruction and encouragement), but Timothy in turn must remain faithful to his calling.

Paul was thankful for Timothy's spiritual heritage, and although he warned that the Christian life was not always easy, he reminded him of his holy calling and that the suffering and shame God's people have to endure in this life must be understood from God's vantage point (an eternal perspective).

He encouraged Timothy to hold on faithfully and firmly to the pattern of sound teaching he had received from Paul, and to protect and vigorously defend the gospel of grace, which he described as 'a precious treasure' entrusted to all God's children by the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Not only does Paul encourage faithfulness, which is well-pleasing to the Lord, but also identifies men that may have been fellow-labourers but who had become unfaithful in their service: "You are aware of the fact that all who are in Asia turned away from me," was Paul's sad reflection, "among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes."

Though Phygelus and Hermogenes are mentioned nowhere else in the New Testament, their names have travelled down two thousand years of Christian history as two of the men who turned away from the apostle Paul and were labelled as 'unfaithful'. How different from the mention of Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother whom Paul mentions in Colossians, or Tychicus, whom he identifies in Ephesians as a beloved brother and faithful minister.

How sad to be remembered as unfaithful people. And how much better to be remembered as those who are steadfast and unwavering in our service to others, and love for the Lord. May we be faithful to our calling and render our service willingly and faithfully to Him, for we have an ever-faithful God Who is faithful to keep us and to fulfil all His promises, and He is worthy of all our worship and praise. 

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the epistles of Paul and the teaching and encouragement we gain from them. Thank You for the life of Timothy who was used to great benefit in the early Church, in defending the gospel of grace and teaching the truth of good news of Christ. Keep me faithful in the place where You have planted me, and I pray that my life may be an example to others of someone who holds fast to the pattern of sound teaching recorded in so many of Paul's epistles. Thank You that you are an ever faithful God Who keeps His promises from one generation to another. In Jesus' name, AMEN.

Picture courtesy of Courtesy of Ian & Sue Coate

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