2 Timothy 1
This first letter to Timothy was not written after 2 Thessalonians - 1 Corinthians was.
Nor was the 2nd letter to Timothy written after the first.
As I have explained before, the order of the books in the New Testament are not arranged by the date written.
They are also not OUT OF ORDER.
They serve their purpose very well in the order that they are in.
Now, how did they get in the order they are in?
1 Timothy was written in 65 AD.
As the name implies, it was written to Timothy, Paul’s faithful companion in ministering the Gospel.
A great fire devastated Rome in 64 AD but suspiciously left the estates of Nero and his friend Tigellinus unburned.
Many of the residents of Rome suspected Nero was the source of the fire and began to point fingers at him.
So, having cleared out the land he needed for his humongous new palace and grounds, Nero had started bringing workers, soldiers, and slaves into the city.
The people of Rome were growing more and more upset at Nero.
While he was there, he appointed Vespasian Flavius to deal with the Jewish revolt.
Going back again to 66AD, things in Israel were heating up dramatically.
The governor of Judea, Florus, decided to confiscate the Temple treasury for himself.
As we had noted with our study of 1 Timothy, Christian Jews had been fleeing Israel and by 67AD there were no more Christians there.
Things in Israel had become truly chaotic.
Paul, who had been free from prison for the past 2 years, was again arrested and imprisoned in Rome … either in 66 or 67AD.
He would have to wait another 2 years before he could appeal before caesar.
For one reason or another, almost all of Paul’s associates in the ministry were gone and only Luke was at the apostle’s side to assist him ().
But Paul’s great concern was not for himself; it was for Timothy and the success of the Gospel ministry.
In this letter, Paul explains to Timothy that he has sent Tychicus to replace him at Ephesus so that Timothy might join Paul at Rome (, ).
He wanted Timothy to come to Rome before the winter of 68AD.
While these things are going on, Timothy is overseeing the church at Ephesus.
There, as we saw in Paul’s first letter to him, Timothy is dealing with:
This 2nd letter to Timothy was probably sent out in the late summer or early fall of the year 67.
It was, of course, written from prison.
These are his last words.
He used similar introductions in many of his letters.
There is a third reason that Paul writes this.
And we will glean this more as we get deeper into the letter.
That role might be different from your calling.
The next phrase is “According to the promise of life which is in Jesus Christ.”
What is remarkable about this, is it was because of this gospel that Paul is facing death in that Roman prison.
The dungeon pit under the palace of the High Priest was just a part of Jesus’ suffering, which would end in death on the cross.
He endured it so that you and I (and Paul) could have the promise of life.
The promise of life is eternal life, which we have only through Jesus Christ.
Christ has defeated death.
Timothy was “a beloved son.”
He was not Paul’s son by blood, yet he was … by the blood of Christ.
Human ability can no more maintain a relationship with God than it can attain such a relationship.
He will keep us by His power.
Mercy is active, … it is not passive.
If God is peace, then to know God is to bask in His peace.
The closer we draw to Him, the more of His peace we can enjoy.
God’s peace is a treasure.
But to have it we must first be reconciled to God.
However, through Christ’s death on the cross to bear the judgement of our sin, we can be reconciled to God.
God’s peace is a treasured possession but to have it we must first be reconciled to God, or be at peace with him instead of being alienated from him. Prior to conversion, a person is the enemy of God, and remains under God’s wrath and judgement. That person’s life, thoughts and feelings are all in opposition to God. ‘The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God’ (Rom. 8:7–8).
Through Christ’s death on the cross to bear the judgement of our sin, we can be reconciled to God, and when that happens, we immediately begin to experience the gift of peace in our hearts. Our conscience is at rest, our relationship with God is settled, and the thought of judgement no longer disturbs us.