Questions to Consider
1. Before diving in to chapter 1, you may wish to review your answers to the introductory questions in lesson 8 (link above).
2. Examine the greeting of this letter (1-2). Who is this letter from? Where is he currently residing? (8) Who is this letter addressed to? What was Timothy’s position in the church at Ephesus? Since 2 Timothy is one of the pastoral epistles, how do its instructions apply to pastors, church members, and the church today?
3. Compare the greeting of 2 Timothy (1-2) to the greeting of 1 Timothy. How does Paul present his credentials, describe Timothy, and invoke God’s blessings in each greeting? What are the similarities and differences in each of these?
4. Read 3-18, noticing the repetition of three words, one in 8 & 12, one in 12 & 14, one in 8, 12, 16. What are these three words? What can these words help us understand about a general theme of this chapter and the letter as a whole?
5. Look closely at Paul’s personal remarks to Timothy in 3-7. Describe the ways Paul serves and encourages Timothy, personally, in this section. How can this section inform the church that pastors need encouragement? What might your own pastor(s) be in “tears” about? (4) Are you praying for your pastor(s)? (3) What specific words of encouragement could you offer your pastor(s) this (and every) week? (5-7)
6. What word does verse 8 start with? Backtrack into verses 6-7 to see what that “therefore” is there for. Would Timothy be able to carry out what Paul said in verse 8 without “girding up his loins” with the instructions in 6-7? Why is it important for us to prepare, spiritually, for future persecution?
Consider the context (6-7) of verse 8. What might Timothy have been “fearful” (7) of (hint: How was society/government treating Christians at that time in history?), and how does that inform our understanding of his being “ashamed” of the “testimony about our Lord” and about Paul? Does “ashamed” mean mere social embarrassment in this context? What would the consequences have been of Timothy aligning himself with the gospel and with Paul? (8b) (Compare with Peter’s “shame” over aligning himself with Jesus.)
Explain how a professing Christian today might be “ashamed” of the “testimony about our Lord” or of aligning herself with Christians who are suffering the consequences of being bold in the faith.
9. In verses 9-10 we have one of our recurring motifs (see lesson 5 question 9 – link above – if your memory needs jogging). What is it? Take a few moments to revel in this passage, soak up the beauty of the gospel, and thank God for it. Can you list all of the theological concepts alluded to in this passage? (eg. predestination, sola gratia, etc.)
10. Compare Paul’s “I am not ashamed,” and “I am suffering” in 11-12 with his instructions to Timothy not to be ashamed and to join in suffering in verse 8. How was Paul leaving an example for Timothy to follow? What are some ways we can follow Paul’s example today?
11. Examine the concept of “guarding the deposit entrusted to you” as it pertains to Paul and to Timothy in 12-14. Why did Paul say he was not ashamed – he did not fear or shrink back – to align himself with Christ and the gospel? (12b- remember that in this context, “for” means “because”). Who is the “he” in verse 12? (see v. 14) When Paul says “what has been entrusted to me,” what does he mean? What is the thing, the “good deposit” (14) that has been entrusted to him and to Timothy? (13) Who entrusted this good deposit to Paul? (11-12) To Timothy? (13) What does Paul mean by “guarding” this good deposit? (12,14) Have Christians received this “good deposit” today? Who entrusted it to us, and how are we to “guard” it? (14)
12. Read 15-18. Who does Paul mention that were “ashamed” of him? (15) Why do you think they “turned away” from aligning themselves with Paul? Who was not ashamed of aligning himself with Paul and the gospel (15), and how did he demonstrate this (16-18)? What are some ways you can demonstrate, through the good works God has ordained for you, that you are not ashamed of being aligned with Christ and the gospel?
Review 3-7 again. Examine the specific ways Paul encouraged Timothy in this section. Think of someone who is a true child in the faith to you, maybe your own child, a younger woman at church, etc. Drop her a card, e-mail, or text this week to encourage her in her walk with the Lord and to let her know how you’re praying for her.
Suggested Memory Verse