Saturday, July 25, 2009

2nd Timothy study, Part 5

Hi everyone! :) I hope y'all are enjoying your weekend so far, I sure am!

13. Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

14. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

15. This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygelus and Hermongenes.

16. The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus: for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:

17. But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.

18. The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.

In verse thirteen Paul says, "Hold fast the form of sound words." What does he mean by that? Well, in a different version it says, "Hold fast the pattern of health-giving." Paul, I think, is telling Timothy not to change something, to "hold fast" is to stay in one place, to not move. For example, when in battle, the commander has the choice whether to tell his troops to retreat or to stand their ground, or in other words, "hold fast." The thing that Paul wants Timothy to hold fast is "sound words," or "health-giving words."

What does "sound words" mean? It means that the words are true, pure, not false, or whole. How about "health-giving words?" What does it mean when you are healthy? It means that you are not sick, you feel good, and you are "sound." Something that gives you health is usually good, right? Well, yeah! So would "health-giving words" be good or bad for you? Good! So, Paul is telling Timothy to keep using good, useful, helpful, healthy, sound, words! In other words, I think Paul is telling Timothy to lift up others, and preach the gospel to them! Probably, mostly to other believers. A good verse that goes with this is Titus 1:9, "Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by wound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers." Titus is another letter Paul wrote. :)

Right after Paul tells Timothy to "hold fast the form of sound words," he says, "which thou hast heard of me," or "received from me." So, Paul had told Timothy before these "sound words." He had taught Timothy what he needed to know, he had instructed Timothy in God's word. And he taught Timothy enough so that Timothy could go teach others!

He next says, "in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus." So not only does Paul tell Timothy to teach others the gospel with sound and health-giving words," but he tells him to do it in the "faith and love which is in Christ Jesus!" That is very important! We are supposed to tell others about Jesus Christ, but we should always do it in faith and love. One way we show that we are Christians is by our attitudes, "your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus," Philippians 2:5. Do you think that people would want to become Christians if we taught them without any love for anyone, even God? Or taught them something that we did not believe in? No. that is why Paul says to do it in faith and love. Another big thing is, who are we representing? Who sent us out? God. We need to remember that we are representing God, we are His. It is like when you go to a big spelling bee, you are picked out of your school to go "represent" it in the bee.

Verse fourteen is pretty short, and Paul only tells Timothy one thing, "That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us." And in the other version, "Guard the fine trust that has been given to you through the Holy Spirit who dwells in you." What good/fine thing is Paul telling Timothy to keep/guard? Well, in the second version it says, "the fine trust." What could he mean by that? I am not sure of this, myself. It might be trust in God, or faith in God, shown to us by the Holy Spirit. Well, what has to happen for the Holy Spirit to dwell in you? You have to believe that Jesus died on the cross to take away your sins so that you can live forever in heaven with God. So, after trusting that Jesus has saved and is saving you the Holy Spirit comes to live inside you to help you, that might be what Paul is talking about here. What are your thoughts on the meaning of this verse?

In verses fifteen through eighteen Paul tells Timothy about the many people that deserted him when he was taken prisoner, and then the one person who was faithful to Paul and did not desert him. In verse fifteen Paul tells us that all they in Asia have turned away from him. When Paul says Asia, he is not talking about the nowadays continent, he is referring to the the Roman province in eastern Asia minor. (Thanks, Barclay! :P) Then he tells us two of the names of people who deserted him, Phygellus and Hemongenes. I have no idea who these people were, but Paul and Timothy probably both knew them pretty well, for Paul to mention their names. But, Timothy already knew that these people had deserted him.

The next three verses tell of a man named Onesiphorus, and how he did not desert Paul in his time of need. The first verse says, "The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain." It is clear that Paul had a faithful friend in Onesiphorus, for he says that he was not ashamed of Paul's imprisonment. Remember in verse eight, how Paul was telling Timothy not to be ashamed of him? Now Paul has an example of someone who was not at all ashamed of his imprisonment. It is clear that even before Paul was in prison, Onesiphorus was his friend, for he says that he "oft refreshed me."

Verse seventeen. In this verse Paul says that while Onesiphorus was in Rome he tried very hard to find him, and finally found him in the prison. Then, in verse eighteen, Paul says, "The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well." Paul was so grateful to Onesiphorus, that he asked the Lord to give him mercy on judgement day. Next he says that Onesiphorus ministered to him at Ephesus. What does he mean by "ministered?" Well, I think that since in verse fifteen that Onesiphorus often refreshed him, that whenever he was close by he gave him a place to stay, and food and water. And always his friendship. But, again, Paul says that Timothy already knew that.

Well, that was the end of chapter one! I honestly thought I would do one chapter at a time, and this study would be only four parts long, but God had other plans. And I am glad. I am getting a lot more out of this than I thought, and I hope that you are too! Also, it is keeping me from being idle and useless all day after school! :P Thanks for reading! Obviously, feedback is much wanted! lol.

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