The Epistles Outlined (3): 2 Timothy

The Writer of the Epistle

The apostle Paul (1:1). He not only names himself, he also describes himself (1:1, 11 with Acts 9:15; Gal 2:7, and 3:10-11 with 2 Cor 11:23-28).

The Recipient of the Epistle

It was a letter to Timothy (1:2)

The Time of Writing

It was written about AD 67.

The Place where it was Written

It was written from the prison at Rome as he expected to appear for the second time before Nero (4:16). It seems evident that the apostle wrote this letter to Timothy during his second imprisonment at Rome, although many claim there was but one imprisonment, at the end of which Paul was martyred.

This second epistle to Timothy is the last of the Apostle Pauls letters and was written just before he was martyred. Thus these are the last words of Paul. It is clear from this epistle that the last days of the apostle were spent without material comfort and almost without companionship, for so many friends had left him for various reasons (4:9-3). As we read the epistle, we can detect the shadow of the executioner on its pages and the tear-stains as the great apostle writes for the last time. He had finished his course, he had kept the faith and soon he would be with his blessed Lord and Savior. He views the future with growing concern, and his heart goes out to Timothy whom he loved dearly. In view of his soon departure, he writes to prepare Timothy for what was before him in his continued service and life for the Lord. The epistle is full of warning and instruction for the man of God during a day of departure and declension.

The Purpose for the Epistle

He wrote to exhort Timothy to stir up his gift, not to be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord, and to hold fast to sound doctrine; to encourage him to suffer hardship for Christ, and to be diligent to gain the approval of God; to enlighten him as to conditions in the last days and as to the sufficiency of the Scriptures; and to express his desire to see Timothy once again before his martyrdom.

Key Verse

2 Timothy 2:15

Key Thought

Continuation in the things of God despite adverse circumstances.

The Division and Outline

Chapter 1 – The Power of God making Courageous the Man of God for the Conflict.

Chapter 2 – The Pathway of Service for the Man of God Maintained in Separation and Purity.

Chapter 3 – The Prophetic Light Revealing the Last Days and the Man of God’s Resources.

Chapter 4 – The Pattern of a Christ-Exalting Life Giving an Incentive to the Man of God.

That the theme of ch 1 is the Power of God can be seen from the mention of the timidity of Timothy who was about to be bereft of the apostle and the reminder that God has given us the spirit of Power (v 7). The theme of service seems to run right through ch 2, the apostle using several illustrations. The picture that meets us in ch 3 is one of prevailing decay and corruption. It is the character of the last days; revealed as the prophetic light shines upon them. Notice a threefold depravity of love in the chapter – lovers of money, lovers of themselves and lovers of pleasure.

The closing chapter brings before us Pauls looming departure and that he fought the good fight, finished his course, and kept the faith (v.7). The result of this was a crown of righteousness (v 8). Thus the apostle, himself being a pattern of a Christ exalting life, is an incentive to the Man of God.

We could write over ch 1 “The Need for Courage;” over ch 2 “The Need for Care;” over ch 3 we can write “The Need for Continuance;” and over ch 4 “The Need for Consistency.”