True to the Word and Loyal to Paul II Tim. 1:13-18. CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Paul’s exhortation to Timothy in 2 Tim 1:13-18 is that Timothy would remain true to the words Paul had preached and loyal to his friend.
True to the Word – Paul told Timothy to:
Hold fast – 2 Tim 1:13 – to hold firmly, not let go. You can’t “hold” the words unless you have them (i.e., in print somewhere today). You hold them in your hand or in your memory. Someone [the devil, Pharisees (Mk 7), scholars, preachers, teachers, etc.] is trying to take them out of your hands and out of your heart. You have already let go if you only believe in the “inspiration” and inerrancy of the autographs because you don’t believe that you currently have his words.
The form – 2 Tim 1:13 – the particular mode of existence a thing has or takes [water in the form of vapor]. So, Timothy was supposed to hold the words he heard of Paul whether written or spoken [2 Thes 2:2, 15].
Sound words – 2 Tim 1:13 – sound words are true, accurate words. They are connected with sound doctrine [1 Tim 1:10; 2 Tim 4:2-3]. They are not corrupt [2 Cor 2:17]. They are not of men.
Heard of me – 2 Tim 1:13 – Paul wrote 14 epistles, two of which were addressed to Timothy. So, Timothy was to hold fast all of Paul’s words, not just the ones addressed to him. Furthermore, Paul preached and quoted much from the Old Testament [i.e., Rom 15:4; 1 Cor 10:1-11; Rom 10:5-8, 16-21; Rom 15:9-12, 21, etc.]. Likewise, we are not to pick and choose which words we’ll keep and which we won’t. We keep all the words of God.
In faith and love – 2 Tim 1:3 – see 1 Tim 1:14 the faith and love are in Jesus Christ. Thus, Timothy was to not only “hold fast” the words, but also believe them [1 Thes 2:13] and love them [1 Jn 2:5].
Committed unto thee – 2 Tim 1:14 – the words of God were committed to him [as they were to Israel in Rom 3:2]; the gospel was committed to him [1 Cor 9:17; 1 Tim 1:11, as it was to Paul]; the word of reconciliation was committed to him [2 Cor 5:19, as it was to us]; Paul’s charge was committed to him [1 Tim 1:18; 6:20].
Keep by the Holy Ghost – 2 Tim 1:!4 – Paul wasn’t relying on his own power to keep something so dear as these things. But rather he was depending upon the Holy Ghost in him. Men, alone, are not dependable enough to trust with such precious things as the words of God.
Loyal to Paul – the implication in the remaining verses of this chapter is that Timothy would remain loyal to Paul since everyone in Asia had turned away from him.
Asia turned away from me – 2 Tim 1:15 – this is remarkable. Ephesus is the place in Asia where Paul spent much time teaching and preaching. Initially, he was forbidden by the Holy Ghost to go there [Acts 16:6]. But in Acts 19, Paul went to Ephesus [19:1]. For three months, he preached in the synagogue [19:8]. And then he taught in the school of Tyrannus for two years [19:10]. Then after he sent Timothy and Erastus to Macedonia, he stayed in Ephesus for a season [19:22]. During this time, he had trouble from the craftsmen who made silver shrines for the goddess, Diana, because they were losing business [19:24-27]. In all, Paul was in Ephesus for three years [Acts 20:31]. When he departed, the men demonstrated great affection for Paul [Acts 20:36-38]. Yet, he warned the elders that men would arise to draw away disciples after them [Acts 20:29-20]. Obviously, they succeeded [2 Tim 4:16]. Paul names two of the men who were responsible for turning away these disciples.
Onesiphorus – 2 Tim 1:16-18 – this one particular disciple in Asia was very helpful to Paul. Time and again, he refreshed Paul by ministering to him in Ephesus, and Timothy knew this. Onesiphorus was not ashamed of Paul because he was a prisoner, like others must have been. When Paul was in Rome, Onesiphorus sought him diligently until he found him so that he could help Paul. For this, Paul requested that the Lord would give mercy to “the house” of Onesiphorus [this is, to his family] and grant mercy to him “in that day,” [speaking of the day of his judgment at the judgment seat of Christ]. The way he asked the Lord for mercy makes it sound like even Onesiphorus was convinced by the men of Ephesus to forsake Paul at the end.
Conclusion: we are encouraged by this passage of scripture to hold fast to the words of God since there are so many that have forsaken them. And we are encouraged to remain loyal to the preachers who stand for these words. The words of God and the men who stand for them are under constant attack.