2 Timothy, Lesson 7: Conclusion of 2 Timothy

Pastor Apollenaris (610x351)Throughout 2 Timothy, Paul has been urging Timothy to remain faithful as a pastor.  Now Paul bring all of what he has previously written to a climax, all introduced by an oath.  This is serious, eternal-life-and-eternal-death serious.


Timothy, Do What You Were Ordained to Do!

Read 2 Timothy 4:1-2

In these verses, we’ll first look at what Paul tells Timothy do (vs. 2) and then why (vs. 1).

“Preach the Word”: Preach is an imperative verb, a command. Earlier, Paul used “the Word” (ton logon) in 2 Timothy 2:9, referring to Jesus whom he preached, who was not bound. In 2 Timothy 2:15, Paul told Timothy that he was to speak “the Word” with exactness and precision, without flaw or error. “The Word” here refers to delivering the content that Jesus gave to His Apostles, which includes preaching Jesus.

“be ready in season and out of season”: “be ready,” meaning “be at one’s task,” is a command. Paul then uses paired “wordplay” to show when Timothy is to “be ready”: euxkairos axkairos—when convenient, when inconvenient.

“reprove”: To correct, also a command. In Paul’s Pastoral Epistles, he uses reprove to correct someone who continues in sin (1 Timothy 5:20) or when correcting an opponent (Titus 1:9, 13).

“rebuke”: A command. Where reproving points out a sin, rebuking tells someone to stop wallowing in that sin.

“exhort”: Greek, parakaleo, literally, “calling to one’s side.” The idea behind this word is to comfort someone, which then encourages him.

“with all patience”: persistence and forbearance, not giving up but neither being hasty in expecting results.

“with all… teaching”: Timothy is to teach the full content of the Faith, as Jesus commanded: “teaching them to keep all that I have commanded you [the Church’s first pastors, His Apostles]” (Matthew 28:20).


Lesson 7, Pauls Charge to Timothy in 2 Tim 4.2


From verse 1.

“charge”: to testify, such as testifying in court.

  • Before whom does Paul testify when he commands Timothy to preach?


  • Paul bring Jesus’ appearing and His judging the living and the dead. Why should this be an influence on Timothy heeding Paul’s words?


Read 2 Timothy 4:3-4

  • What does Paul say about people’s relation to what Paul calls “sound teaching”?


  • That Paul tells Timothy that “the time is coming” means what about that “time” in Timothy’s day? What does that mean for us?


Read 2 Timothy 4:5

“be sober”: a present-tense imperative. In whatever situation Timothy finds himself in, he is to be well-balanced and self-controlled.

“evangelist”: bringer of good news, which is the Gospel of salvation.

“fulfill your ministry”: fully carry out “the ministry.” In Greek, “ministry” is a work of service, nothing more. Here, Paul uses the definite article to separate what Paul commanded Timothy to do from other works of service: “the ministry.”

In English, “ministry” traditionally has referred to what a pastor does. Some have viewed what a pastor does as more valuable in God’s eyes than secular work. And so over time, people have used the word “ministry” to add an aura of value for something done within the Church. This has promoted a two-tiered understanding of vocation, where something done in the Church is a “ministry” and, hence, of more value in God’s eyes that what someone does outside of Church. This is a false view, for such differences in service are not “better,” but simply different.


Paul Describes His Current Situation

Read 2 Timothy 4:6-7

  • What is Paul convinced is going to happen to him?


“poured as a drink offering”: In Old-Covenant worship, this was the final ritual to the daily animal sacrifice, when the priest would pour out wine at the base of the altar (Exodus 29:40; Numbers 15:5, 7, 10; 28:7, 24. Paul used the verb form of “drink offering” (spendo), which corresponded to the noun sponda in Exodus 29:40 and Numbers 28:7 in the Septuagint. As the “blood of the grape” (Sirach 50:15) was poured out at the end of the sacrifice, Paul saw his life being poured out as he was nearing death.

“I have kept the Faith”: This is both subjective and objective. It is subjective in that Paul has kept the faith; He has not thrown it away, given it up, or lost it. He has trusted, and still trusts, in Jesus. However, Paul’s use of the definite article also refers to the Faith, the Faith that Jesus passed on the His Apostles for them to preach and teach. For subjective faith to exist, the objective Faith must come to someone. Both are true for Paul.

Read 2 Timothy 4:8

  • Since Paul has both faiths (objective and subjective), what awaits him?


  • Earlier Paul referenced Jesus as “judge” (Law) on the Last Day as a reason for Timothy to be faithful. But how does Paul encourage Timothy in this verse?


Visit Me, Including Some Personal Remarks 

Read 2 Timothy 4:9-16

“Do your best”: Another command. However, Paul does not command Timothy to visit him. Instead, Paul command Timothy to “do his best” to visit him. The choice is Timothy’s to make. Paul realizes that all he has commanded Timothy to do may not allow him to visit.

  • Generally speaking, how did others treat Paul, especially after he was imprisoned?


  • What does Paul not want to happen to those who have treated him poorly? (vs. 16)


“cloak” (vs. 13): You pastor wears a chasuble during the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. The chasuble began as a cloak (a poncho-like piece of clothing) worn in everyday life, such as what Paul wore, which he asked Timothy to bring him.

From what we know about the customs of 1st century, Jesus may have likely worn a chasuble (its predecessor) during the first Lord’s Supper. Later, we see the Apostle Paul mention that garment (phailonas) in 2 Timothy. Eastern-Orthodox priests also wear a chasuble, which they call a “phelonion,” which comes from the same Greek word that Paul used. In the west, we use the term “chasuble,” from the Latin term casula.

Read 2 Timothy 4:17-18

  • Why had the Lord kept Paul safe up to the time he wrote 2 Timothy?


  • Paul is convinced that he will die by that hand of the Romans. Knowing that, he still says, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil…” What does Paul mean?


Closing Greeting and Benediction 

Read 2 Timothy 4:19-21

“Do your best”: Paul repeats what he said earlier about Timothy visiting him.

“the household of Onesiphorus”: Paul was not saying to greet everyone in the house except Onesiphorus. He was saying to greet “the household of Onesiphorus” because Onesiphorus had died.

Read 2 Timothy 4:22

“The Lord be with your spirit”: This is a singular you meant specifically for Pastor Timothy.

“Grace be with you”: Here, the you is plural. This means the grace [of God] that Paul extended to Timothy, Timothy was, in turn, to extend to the congregation at Ephesus.


Excursus: The Lord be with you… And with your spirit

“The Lord be with your spirit,” sounds a bit like part of the Church’s liturgy. In the preface to the Lord’s Supper, the pastor speaks to the congregation, “The Lord be with you.” The congregation then responds, “And with your spirit.”

What is taking place in those words? We can understand that part of the liturgy when we understand those concluding words from the Apostle Paul to Pastor Timothy.


The pastor says, “The Lord be with you.” When the pastor says that, in his role as pastor, he is speaking that reality into being. That’s what the word “be” is doing; it conveys what it is says. Although the Lord is already there, for “where two or three gather in [His] name” (Matthew 18:20), there He is, we cannot have too much of our Lord.

But what’s especially worth noting is when the pastor says, “The Lord be with you.” He says that at the beginning of every Lord’s Supper liturgy, when Jesus comes to His people in His body and blood. The when of those words is the pastor testifying that “The Lord be with you” will become an even greater reality!

As Jesus became incarnate for our salvation, so also does He “incarnate” Himself in His Supper, in bread and wine, for our salvation. Through the pastor and the words that Jesus has given him to speak, Jesus will come His people, giving them forgiveness, life, and salvation in His Supper.


The Apostle Paul told Pastor Timothy, “The Lord be with your spirit.” That wasn’t Paul saying, “See you later.” Paul saying that Timothy needed the Lord in his spirit, his inmost being. For Paul had just commanded Timothy to be faithful in his pastoral tasks. For that to happen, Timothy needed the Lord in his inmost being, his spirit. Without that, Timothy would surely fail.

But what good was Timothy knowing what he needed if he couldn’t get what he needed? But notice the word “be” that Paul used. Through that word, Paul was delivering to Timothy what his words were saying: He was sending the Lord to Timothy’s spirit!

The congregation hears the pastor tell them, “The Lord be with you.” In thanksgiving for the pastor, through whom God will use to bring Christ to His people, they respond, “And with your spirit.” Just as Timothy could not be able to be faithful without the Lord being with his spirit, the congregation recognizes the same with their pastor. So, the congregation “sends” the Lord back to their pastor’s spirit through the words, “And with your spirit.”


Note: The recent change from “And with your spirit” to “And also with you” is a complete botch-up. It flattens what both the pastor and congregation say into the same thing.


Click here it you would like to go to Lesson 1 on the pastoral epistle of Titus.