Bible Study Lesson and Devotional #6: 2nd Timothy Chapter One
Please read through the first chapter.
"A Spirit of Power, Love and Self-Discipline"
So Far we have learned that:
1. Paul is writing to Timothy from prison in Rome. He (Paul) is about to be executed under the notorious Roman Emperor Nero.
2. Timothy is struggling, in his assignment, as a leader and a pastor at the church in Ephesus.
3. Paul is writing to Timothy to remind him to perform his duty, "discharge all the duties of your ministry" (2 Tim. 4:5 NIV).
4. Paul reminds Timothy to return to walking in the Spirit and not in the flesh, "I remind you to fan into flame the Gift of God" (2 Tim. 1:6 NIV).
5. The Holy Spirit is Fully God, endowed with all wisdom, inexhaustible resources, endless love and compassion. Thus, each of us should learn to "walk by faith and not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7 NIV).
6. Paul is calling Timothy to Boldness not timidity!
Today's Concentration: 2 Timothy 1:7 "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline"
The Theme: "Power"
1. Now as we concentrate (meditate) on verse 7, which is the central passage here, we see Paul telling Timothy that in the Christian's life, power has replaced timidity or fear.
2. Paul contrasts a "spirit of timidity with a spirit of power."
4. The "new man/woman" in Christ is a new creation which is now infused with the life of the Holy Spirit. Before we were under the dominion of the "Prince of the Power of the air. the spirit that is now at work in those who are disobedient."
5. Notice there are several "spirits:" "the spirit that is now in work in those who are disobedient, the spirit of timidity and a spirit of power.
6. There are other "spirits," such as the "spirit of the Antichrist," "the spirit of the world, a "spirit of impurity and of course there is the "Spirit of God," and the "Spirit of Christ."
7. When we are speaking of the "spirit" of something we are identifying its essence, its' nature, its' core being.
8. Philosopher's call the "spirit" of something, it's quintessence. Namely, the aspect of something regarded as the intrinsic and central nature of its character. A man or woman's spirit defines them.
9. So, Paul is admonishing Timothy to stop leaning on his old nature (spirit) and draw from the resources of his new nature (spirit) and its connection with the Spirit of God. "God did not give us a spirit of timidity (old nature that defined Timothy's personality and character), but a spirit (Holy Spirit led) of power (strength, courage, boldness, freedom), of love and of self-discipline."
10. WE ALL HAVE AN OLD NATURE that is ungodly, unholy, unworthy, unseemly and repugnant to God. To walk in the Spirit requires us to first understand our need to be led by the Spirit and not by our old nature. We must become unimpressed with ourselves, unimpressed with the things of this world, unimpressed, with all that we were attached to and admired while we were led by our old nature. Our old nature is contaminated, corrupt, and degenerate. We desperately need a new nature which God freely gives us in Christ Jesus:
"I will sprinkle clean water on you (Christ's Blood) and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities (old nature) and from all your idols (affections). I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh" (Ezekiel 36:25-26 NIV).
11. Paul is telling Timothy (who possessed the Spirit) to draw from the "power" that is acceptable to every believer and stop trying to fight the battle in his own flesh. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12 NIV). Timothy needed power to meet power, he needed to draw from resources that only the Holy Spirit can provide. He must walk in the spirit and not in the flesh.
Jesus told the disciples:
"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you" (Acts 1:8 NIV).
" I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation" (Romans 1:16 NIV).
Paul again says about the last days:
"People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God------having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them" (2 Tim. 3:2-5 NIV).
Lesson: To walk in the Spirit, we must be under the Holy Spirit (regenerate), be at war with our old nature, be unimpressed with this world, be aware of the influence of Satan and walk daily in Holy Fear of God.
John Wesley: "Power (from God) banishes fear, and fortifies us against it.
Alexander Maclaren: "Christ makes fearless men. . . I venture to say that any man who lives in the realization of the truths which the gospel reveals, and in the use of the gifts which the gospel communicates, will be stiffened into a fearless man; and be no longer a reed shaken with the wind, but a brazen pillar, and an iron wall, amidst all dangers and enemies."
Paul is exhorting Timothy (and us) to open himself/ourselves to the Supernatural; to turn our thinking away from the natural and to think of all around us in the Supernatural. As believers, we now are endowed with Supernatural resources made available to us by the presence of the Holy Spirit, who now resides in us. Like Elisha' servant, we need our "eyes opened" to see what really is going on all around us. Covid-19 and the panic and pandemic associated with it is not only a physical danger, but it and the associated consequences related to it are Supernatural in nature. There are dark forces surrounding this phenomenon and in many ways are manipulating the crisis for unholy purposes. Fear is rampant, concern about the future is on many a mind. Jobs, livelihoods, families, marriages, person's health and even individuals' lives are at risk.
This world desperately needs Supernatural people (filled with the Holy Spirit) to point the way. To show courage and not fear. To live without concern for tomorrow. To love them enough, to be bold enough to set down and share the Gospel with them. Now is the time of God's calling. Let's walk not in the flesh any longer but in His Spirit and for His Glory. Amen!
I pray that you meditate on this today!
May God Richly Bless You My Beloved,