Thanksgiving For Timothy's Faith
2 Timothy 1:3-5
Paul thanks God for Timothy's sincere faith.
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Published December 10th, 2018
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2 Timothy 1:3-5
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Main point summary
Thanksgiving For Timothy's Faith (1:3-5)
Questions for Clarification
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2 Timothy 1:3-5 NASB
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2 Timothy 1:3-5
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3 a I thank God, whom I b serve with a c clear conscience 1 the way my forefathers did, d as I constantly remember you in my 2 prayers night and day, 4 a longing to see you, b even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 1 For I am mindful of the a sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and b your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.
notes
Main point summary
Paul gives thanks to God for him, αs he remembers Timothy in his prayers because of Timothy's sincere faith.
Thanksgiving For Timothy's Faith (1:3-5)
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2 Timothy 1:3-5
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a I thank God,
whom I b serve with a c clear conscience
1 the way my forefathers did,
actionmanner
ideaexplanation
d as I constantly remember you in my 2 prayers
night and day,
temporal
a longing to see you,
b even as I recall your tears,
actionresult
so that I may be filled with joy.
1 For I am mindful of the a sincere faith within you,
which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and b your mother Eunice,
and I am sure that it is in you as well.
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Questions for Clarification
Q. What causes Paul to thank God? A. When Paul constantly remembers Timothy in his prayers, this causes Paul to give thanks to God. "Not only was Paul a blessing to Timothy, but Timothy was a blessing to Paul. I thank God for you, the apostle assured him, saying in effect, 'I am grateful for what God has done for me through you.' While Paul was incarcerated in the dark, damp, dangerous, filthy, and stinking Roman prison, he nevertheless rejoiced that the Lord had given him the privilege of knowing and discipling Timothy. He was not bitter or resentful. He had no anger or hatred for those who placed him in prison, or for the hardened and brutal criminals who were beside him. He did not lament the unjust and cruel execution he knew soon awaited him. His thoughts were on his sovereign God and on memories of his beloved son in the spirit, with whom he had spent so many blessed hours in mutual service of God and whom he likely would never see again in the flesh. Only the Lord could give such an unbelievably beautiful perspective!" ~ MacArthur's New Testament Commentary on 2 Timothy Q. What does Paul mean saying that he serves God with a clear conscience the way his forefathers did (1:3b-c)? A. In prison and accused by those who were supposed to be the people of God, Paul states firmly that he had not forsaken God but serve Him in the way that his forefathers did - faithfully and obediently. The very same people of God wanted to stone Christ because of the same reason (John 8:59; John 10:31). The same people of God stoned Stephen, when he accused them of not serving God the same way as their forefathers did (Acts 7:54-60). Paul was not in prison and suffering because he was being punished by God, but because he faithfully served him, just as his forefathers did before him. "As the aging apostle stood near death, he could testify that his conscience did not accuse or condemn him. His guilt was forgiven, and his devotion was undivided. 'After careful self-examination,' he said, in effect, 'I can say with sincerity that, although I am not perfect, I am living in holiness before the Lord.' He wanted Timothy to have no doubt that he endured his present physical afflictions, as he had countless others, because of his unswerving faithfulness to the Lord, not as a consequence of unfaithful, ungodly living." ~ MacArthur's New Testament Commentary on 2 Timothy Q. How often does Paul remember Timothy in his prayers (1:3d-e)? A. Paul remembers Timothy in his prayers "constantly" and "night and day." Q. What caused Paul to constantly remember Timothy in his prayers (1:3d)? A. The flow of thought seems to indicate that Paul being mindful of Timothy's sincere faith caused him to constantly remember Timothy in his prayers. Paul obviously often thought about Timothy's faith causing him to remember Timothy in his prayers, causing him to overflow with thanksgiving toward God for this. Q. What is the cause of Paul longing to see Timothy (1:4a)? A. As Paul remembers Timothy's tears, he longs to see him. Q. What was causing Timothy's tears (1:4b)? A. "I recall your tears, the apostle says, perhaps referring to their time of last parting, following a brief visit to Ephesus some time after writing his first letter to Timothy and before he was arrested at Nicopolis and taken prisoner to Rome. Paul had a similar bond with the elders in Ephesus. When they came out to meet him on the beach near Miletus, 'he knelt down and prayed with them all. And they began to weep aloud and embraced Paul, and repeatedly kissed him, grieving especially over the word which he had spoken, that they should see his face no more' (Acts 20:36-38)." ~ MacArthur's New Testament Commentary on 2 Timothy Related to sincere faith like that of Timothy, tears often marks sorrow over sin, which is a sign of true saving faith. True saving faith requires repentance - a "broken and contrite heart" (Ps 51:17). Q. What would be the result of Paul seeing Timothy (1:4c)? A. "Although he doubtless realized he might never see Timothy again, even the remote prospect of such a reunion filled Paul with joy." ~ MacArthur's New Testament Commentary on 2 Timothy Q. Why is Paul mindful of the sincere faith within Timothy (1:5a)? A. Speaking to the elders of the church, Paul commands them to "be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood" (Acts 20:28). He tells Titus that an elder must "be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict" (Titus 1:9). As an elder and overseer, Paul had this same charge - to guard and shepherd his flock, even more so in evaluating those who would succeed him in his role. Paul had to be sure that those who would take over from him had a sincere faith, because they in turn would greatly influence the whole flock underneath them. Just as Paul had instructed Timothy in his first letter regarding deacons, they should first be tested and found beyond reproach (1 Tim 3:10). Having undoubtedly spent much time with Timothy, instructing him, discipling him, guiding him, evaluating him and the genuineness of his faith, Paul knew that Timothy measured up to the requirements of the role that was given him, having seen in him the same genuine and sincere faith which he had previously witnessed in Lois and Eunice.
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