Paul’s Last Letter

I was reading John Stott’s commentary on 2 Tim 1:1-13 and his introduction was just so good I had to share it with you:

“We are to imagine the apostle, ‘Paul the aged’, languishing in some dark, dank dungeon in Rome, from which there is to be no escape but death. His own apostolic labours are over. ‘I have finished the race,’ he can say. But now, he must make provision for the faith after he has gone, and especially for its transmission to future generations. So he sends Timothy this most solemn charge. He is to preserve what he has received, at whatever the cost, and to hand it on to faithful men who in their turn will be able to teach others also.”

I am amazed at the language Paul uses to communicate this ‘charge’ to Timothy. He calls him his dear son. Night and day he constantly remembers Timothy in his prayers. He longs to see Timothy, so that he may be filled with joy. Paul sometimes gets a bad rap for being doctrinaire, but this isn’t just about making sure Paul’s doctrine is kept pure, this is personal! He cares so much for Timothy and I feel like this should also shape the way we seek to teach others about God’s incredible truths.

I also love the way Paul describes the Gospel.

“This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” v.9-10.

The idea that God’s grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time blows my mind. If God’s grace was given before the beginning of time, how much more certain can we be that it truly is by grace we have been saved apart from anything we have ever done or could do? It was decided before time began! And so Paul can say…

“I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day” v.12

Praying that we might grow in this conviction too,

Peter L