You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,2 Timothy 3:14(NASB)
I am sure as Paul reflected on his life, in that dark, dank, dreary dungeon in Rome, his heart was gladdened when he thought of Timothy, his spiritual son in the Lord.
But Paul also recognised that the days were becoming darker and increasingly evil, when men would become lovers of themselves, and would not tolerate sound doctrine. He wanted to warn this beloved disciple that a time was fast approaching when people would pursue false teachings, and the philosophies of Satan's fallen world system would infiltrate and infect Christendom.
We discover in this last recorded letter from Paul, that everyone had deserted him. Yet it is to his faithful young follower and beloved 'son in the faith' - Timothy, that the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write. And in this final epistle of encouragement and warning, he trumpeted a call to faithfulness in ministry, courage in the challenges of life, and patient endurance when facing the inevitable hardships that pursue all who live godly in Christ Jesus.
If there is a theme that threads its way through the entire epistle, it would be the urgent call to 'faithfulness.' Timothy was admonished to be faithful in ministry, faithful in conduct, faithful in preaching the foundational truth of the Word.. and faithful to our brothers and sisters within the Body of Christ.
He was also warned of the consequences of unfaithfulness and the need to patiently endure hardship and opposition for Christ's sake. However, Paul always brought his focus back to the foundational truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the need to, "continue in the things you have learned, and to become firmly convinced of them in your heart, knowing from whom you have learned them."
Timothy had travelled with Paul on several of his missionary journeys, and although he had been taught the Holy Scriptures from his childhood, due to the faithful instruction he received from his mother and grandmother, it was Paul who introduced this young man to the Lord Jesus Christ and the gospel of grace. And Paul knew that Timothy would be one who would continue to carry the flaming torch of truth after his own departure.
No doubt he saw Timothy grow in grace and in a knowledge of the Lord Jesus during their ministry together, but as the time for his parting drew ever closer, Paul was prompted to write to his young co-labourer, exhorting him to continue in the things that he had learned from him.. to stand firm in the faith, to know the truth and to reckon it as fact - to trust resolutely in the Word of God and the gospel of grace, and to remember how he had learned these truths - through the teachings of Paul, and the Holy Scriptures that he had been taught from his early childhood.
The reminder Paul gave to Timothy is equally as vital for Christians today, as we are pounded on every side by twisted teachings, false doctrine, a sacrilegious 'spirituality' that has slithered into the Church today, and a compromised, watered-down gospel that is causing many to stumble in their Christian walk.
Not only are we to hear the truth, but to know the Word of God intimately. We are to come to a personal assurance that God's Word is true and His promises never fail. We must remember that nothing is more important in this God-hating, Christ-rejecting, sinful world than to walk in the light of the glorious gospel of grace, and KNOW in Whom we have believed.
We live in a time where everything of this world system is being shaken and deception has polluted many people and politicians in this increasingly hostile environment. Let us trust the Lord in the certain knowledge that He is ultimately in control and will one day right all wrongs.
Let us continue faithfully in the things that we have learned and of which we have become convinced.. and let us finish the good work that God has started in each of our lives, and enable Him to use us for His honour and glory.. as we submit to His leading and guidance.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the amazing encouragement that we have received in this final letter of Paul to his spiritual son, Timothy. I pray that I may continue to grow in grace and be faithful in the work that You have called me to do. Keep me faithful in ministry, faithful in conduct, faithful in sharing the foundational truth of the Word of God with those I come in contact, and I pray that I may be faithful in my attitude and actions towards my brothers and sisters, and honour You in all I say and do. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.