January 20, 2014
It’s always a pleasure to receive an encouraging note from a close friend. During his imprisonment in Rome, the apostle Paul wrote such a letter to his ministry companion Timothy. Under the shadow of his impending execution, Paul encouraged Timothy to persevere in the proclamation of the Gospel. Alistair Begg unpacks the apostle’s exhortations to his fellow minister, reminding us to similarly follow Paul’s advice: “Guard the good deposit entrusted to you.”
1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus,
2To Timothy, my beloved child:
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
8Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9who saved us and called us to1 a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,2 10and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.3 13Follow the pattern of the sound4 words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.
15You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, 17but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me— 18may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day!—and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus.
Copyright © 2023, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.