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 (Thessalonians, Timothy, and Titus)
23. Parting Words (2Tim 4:1-22)
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23: Parting Words (2Tim 4:1-22)

I.       The Basics

A.     Setting

Paul is coming to the close of this last epistle. Soon, Paul will die the death of a martyr. In the previous chapters, we have seen Paul’s urgent concern that the ministry will continue through Timothy. In this final chapter, the climax of the epistle, Paul commands Timothy once again with a most solemn charge to preach the word and fulfill his ministry as Paul himself has faithfully done.

B.     Key Verse

            “But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (4:5).

C.     Did You Know…?

1. “Drink offering” (4:6): “The offering of wine poured around the base of the altar (see Num 15:1-12; 28:7,24).”

2. Demas (4:10) was Paul’s “fellow laborer” (Philem 24) who accompanied Paul during Paul’s first Roman imprisonment (Col 4:14). But, as we will see in this passage, he later forsook Paul because he loved the world (4:10).

3. Dalmatia” (4:10): “Present-day Albania and a portion of Yugoslavia, also known in scripture as Illyricum (Rom 15:19).”

4. Mark (4:11) was from Jerusalem. He was one of the earliest believers. His mother’s house was their gathering place (Acts 12:12). Paul and Barnabas took him along on their first missionary journey, but the young Mark quit and went back home (Acts 12:25, 13:13). Because of this, Paul refused to take Mark on his second journey and had a serious dispute with Barnabas over this matter (15:36-38). However, Mark later became an important fellow worker of Paul (Phm 24). When Paul was imprisoned in Rome the first time, Mark was by his side (Col 4:10). In this chapter, we see that one of Paul’s last wishes was to see Mark.

5. “Cloak” (4:13): “For protection against dampness…It was probably a heavy, sleeveless, outer garment, circular in shape and with a hole in the middle for one’s head.”

6. “Scrolls and parchments” (4:13): “The scrolls…were made of papyrus, and the parchments were made of the skins of animals. The latter may have been copies of parts of the OT.”

7. Erastus” (4:20): “A Corinthian and one of Paul’s disciples whose salutations he sends from Corinth to the church at Rome as those of “the city treasurer” (Rom 16:23). The word so rendered is oikonomos (Vulg., arcarius) and denotes an officer or steward of great dignity in ancient times (Josephus Ant. 7.8.2); the conversion of such a man to the faith of the gospel was proof of the wonderful success of the apostle’s labors in that city. We find Erastus with Paul at Ephesus as one of his attendants or deacons, and he was sent along with Timothy into Macedonia while the apostle himself remained in Asia (Acts 19:22). They were both with the apostle at Corinth when he wrote, as above, from that city to the Romans; at a subsequent period Erastus was still at Corinth (2 Tim 4:20), which would seem to have been his usual place of abode.”

8. Trophimus” (4:20): If you come across the mention of riots in your study of the Book of Acts, you can expect the mention of Trophimus in either the preceding or following passages. He is first mentioned after the riot at Ephesus when he, among a few others, leaves the area with Paul (Acts 20:4). This happened during Paul’s third missionary trip. Upon its completion, Paul brought Trophimus with him to Jerusalem. The non-believing Jews quickly identified him as a “Greek.” When Paul was at the Temple, they thought he had Trophimus with him and caused a riot that resulted in Paul’s arrest (Acts 21:27-36). In this chapter, we read that Trophimus fell ill and Paul had left him in Miletus (2 Tim 4:20).

9. “You” (4:22): “As at the end of 1 Timothy, ‘you’ here is plural, showing that the letter wa intended for public use. The word “your” in the first part of the verse, however, is singular, indicating that it was addressed to Timothy alone.”

II.    Observation

A.     Outline




B.     Key Words/Phrases

III. Segment Analysis

A.     4:1-5

1. What is Paul’s main charge to Timothy?

2. What is the significance of the words “before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom”? What does this say about Paul’s charge to Timothy?

3. When is a good time to preach the word? 

4. What different approaches can we use in preaching the word?

5. What does Paul warn Timothy about the future? 

6. Why should we preach the word if we already know that people will not endure sound doctrine? Wouldn’t our preaching be a waste of time?

7a. What condition is described by “having itching ears” and “heap up for themselves teachers”?

7b. How can we guard ourselves from falling into this tendency?

8. What attitudes should we have when we preach the word? How do such attitudes relate to the condition described in verses 3-4?

9. Do you believe that you have been entrusted with the commission to preach the word? In what ways are you fulfilling your ministry?

B.     4:6-8

10. Based on Paul’s words, how would you describe Paul’s feeling as he comes to the end of his life? What can you learn from this?

11a. What is Paul’s song of victory?

11b. What does Paul’s song of victory remind us about what a Christian’s life should be?

11c. Do you view your life as fighting the good fight, running the race, and keeping the faith? How would you rate yourself right now?

12. Who are those who love the Lord’s appearing? Are you one of them?

C.     4:9-22

13. Considering Mark’s history (See “Did You Know…”), what lesson can we learn from Paul’s comment about him here?

14. What does Paul ask Timothy to bring to him (13). What does this possibly show?

15. How does Paul demonstrate his quiet confidence in the Lord even though he has been forsaken by others?

16. How did Paul use his first defense (the first hearing in court) to continue his ministry?

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