pass it on! embracing our mission

We have followed Paul from his persecution of believers to his imprisonment in Rome awaiting trial. After encountering Jesus on the road to Damascus his life was completely changed. He was given the mission to proclaim Christ to the Jews, the Gentiles and to Kings and those in authority.

In city after city Paul faced opposition from both Jews and Gentiles. After his third missionary journey, he heads back to Jerusalem and is taken into custody after a mob threatens to kill him in the temple courts. Even though he was innocent of any charge, he was left in prison for two years. At the end of his third trial, Paul asked to be tried by Caesar—which was his right as a Roman citizen.

After two years imprisonment in Rome awaiting his trial, he was set free and tradition indicates he traveled to Spain establishing churches there. Now in AD 64 Paul returns to Rome and again is imprisoned. He has had a preliminary trial which didn’t go well and now anticipates his coming execution.

Paul knows his time is short on this earth. In his damp prison cell, he pens a second letter to Timothy, his young partner in ministry. He writes to encourage him to be faithful, enduring difficult times ahead, and exhorts him in to focus on what matters. In essence Paul is passing the baton of leadership to his son in the ministry.

This book is the most heartfelt book Paul wrote. He distills what is important to know and embrace. He also anticipates his own future with courage and confidence. This is seen beginning in the very first verse where he writes that his apostleship was according to “the promise of life” that is found in Christ Jesus. In the last chapter of the book, he anticipates the crown of righteousness which he will receive from our Lord.

This short letter contains some of our most cherished verses:

“I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me” - 2 Tim. 1:12

“What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” - 2 Tim. 2:2

“If we have died with him, we will live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful—he can’t deny himself” - 2 Tim. 2:11-13

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” - 2 Tim. 2:15

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” - 2 Tim. 3:16

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord , the righteous judge will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” - 2 Tim. 4:7-8

Tradition tell us the Roman authorities took Paul “to a spot about three miles out of Rome and right there on the road, where he had spent most of his life including what was in a way the beginning of his life, they lopped off his head”. . . It was there “with angel eyes that he exchanged a last long glance with his executioners.” - Frederick Buechner, “Peculiar Treasurers”

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  • Warming Up:

    1. What kinds of circumstances have produced within you a sense of fear or apprehension? How has your faith helped you to overcome this fear?

    Read 2 Timothy 1:1-7

    2. Where did Paul get his authority as an apostle? How does this relate to the story of his conversion and call in Acts 9:1-18?

    3. As Paul was again imprisoned and awaiting his execution, how would “the promise of life” in Christ sustain him? When he states this what is he referring to? (v.1; 4:6-8)

    4. How does your faith and the promise of life sustain you during difficult times?

    5. How does Paul describe his relationship with Timothy? How does the language of family relationships evoke tenderness? (v.2)

    6. As Paul reflected upon his relationship with Timothy, what was seared into his mind? Why would this have such an impact on him? (v.4a)

    7. Share an experience you had in saying goodbye to a family member or close friend. How do the emotions of that event impact your memory?

    8. Part of Paul’s reason for writing is to ask Timothy to come to him. How would his visit bring joy to Paul? What else does he want Timothy to bring? What does this tell you about Paul’s values? (v.4; 2 Timothy 4:11-13)

    9. As Paul reflected upon Timothy, he acknowledges how faith was passed down to him from his grandmother and mother. Why is a godly family member such a powerful witness? When does this influence end? (v.5)

    10. Explain the imagery of “fan into flame.” Why would Paul use this to encourage Timothy? (v.6)

    11. How does Paul describe God’s gift to Timothy? What does this teach about God’s gifts? (v.6)

    12. What struggle did Timothy face as a young pastor? How do you think this was manifest in his ministry? (v.7a)

    13. How here is God’s gift described? How does he relate to our weaknesses and struggles? (v.7)

    For your prayer time: Thank God for the promise of life you have in Christ. Pray for your personal ministry that your gifts may be fanned into flame. Pray also for boldness in your witness for Christ.

  • Warm Up:

    1. How does knowing that you have eternal life give you courage to live out your faith before your family and friends?

    Read 2 Timothy 1:8-18

    As a young pastor Timothy was timid at times. Paul encouraged him to find his strength in God. With persecution intensifying all around, there is a strong potential that Timothy will be called on to give an account for his faith.

    2. What encouragement did Paul give to help Timothy be ready to endure trials and suffering? (v.8)

    3. How does society today shame those who hold to biblical truth and faith? Why do they do this?

    4. How would feeling shame impact the boldness of our witness and ministry?

    5. What is the holy calling Paul is referring to here? How is this calling related to salvation? (v.9)

    6. How does Paul describe and explain our salvation? What is the place of our works . . . and God’s grace in our salvation? (v.9)

    7. In verse 10, he continues to describe our salvation by focusing on the work of Christ. What does he highlight? Put it in your own words.

    8. What are Paul’s different roles? What do each add to his ministry? How do these roles relate to the pastor today?(v.11)

    9. Describe how Paul faces suffering for the gospel and his ministry? (v.12a; Col 1:24)

    10. How would Paul’s example of fearlessness in the face of his coming execution give Timothy courage? How have you found courage after watching another overcome trials? (v.12)

    11. What do you think Paul was referring to when he spoke about something God entrusted to him? What was Paul responsible for? (v.12)

    12. What was entrusted to Timothy? (v.13-14)

    13. What has God entrusted to you to use and manage?

    For Your Prayer Time: Ask God to help you grow in your confidence in God’s ability and willingness to be there with you as you face trials. Ask God to make you a faithful steward of what he has entrusted to you.

  • Warm Up:

    1. Who mentored, or is mentoring you? Who have you mentored or are mentoring now? What benefits have you seen in these relationships?

    Read: 2 Timothy 2:1-7

    2. Is there anyone you view as a parent or child, though not actually related to you? What help create this relationship? (v.1)

    3. What can you pass down to the next generation—spiritually? Morally?

    4. Read 2 Timothy 2:2 alongside the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20. What do you see in common between these two passages?

    5. What has to be done in order pass on our faith to another? (vs. 1-2)

    6. How do you recognize a faithful person? What is the evidence of faithfulness in your life? (vs. 2)

    7. Who are we fighting? Why might this entail suffering? Why did Paul command Timothy to 'share' in suffering? (v.3)

    8. Why do we hesitate to teach new believers about the likelihood of suffering as a Christian? (v.3)

    9. What pursuits can entangle you, hindering your growth in Christ? (v.4)

    10. What is your aim in life? How do you express this in your everyday activities in life? (v.4)

    11. What are some behaviors that we can allow in our lives that would disqualify us from our reward? (v.5)

    12. Why would Paul write to Timothy about his right to receive compensation for his ministry? Why do we feel guilty when we are blessed by another? (v.6)

    13. Why is it important to spend time pondering over God’s word? What is necessary for the promise of this this verse to be a reality in your life? (v.7)

    For Your Prayer Time: Pray that you would be able to pass on your faith and values to your family and friends. Ask God also to help you keep your focus on following closely after Jesus.

  • Warm Up

    1. How has God shown his faithfulness to you? Share about a recent example of his grace and mercy?

    Read 2 Timothy 2:1-13

    Paul encouraged Timothy to carry out a ministry of discipleship and multiplication. This isn’t easy but there are great rewards.

    2. Review and describe how Paul uses the pictures of soldier, athlete and hard working farmer describe ministry?

    3. After describing how the soldier, athlete and farmer each endure difficulties in the midst of their efforts, how is Jesus our example of faithful endurance? (v.8a)

    4. How is Jesus’ resurrection a source of encouragement for you in times of suffering? (v.8a)

    5. Why does Paul identify Jesus as the offspring of David? What is its significance? (v.8b)

    6. Arrested again, Paul has endured a trial and is awaiting his sentence. How does he describe his situation? (v.9a)

    7. Describe Paul’s confidence in the power of the gospel? How does this change the way you view your personal witness? (v.9b)

    8. Why does Paul welcome suffering? (v.10; see also Col. 1:24)

    9. What does it mean to “have died” with Christ? What is the outcome?

    10. What is the outcome of faithful endurance? How does this encourage you? (v.12a)

    11. When trials beat down upon you, do you find it easy to give up on your faith? Why or why not? What are the dangers of disowning Christ? (v.12b)

    12. What would being faithless look like?

    13. How does God’s faithfulness give you strength as you live for Christ? (v.13b)

    14. How has God shown you his faithfulness even when you have wavered in your faith and obedience?

    For Your Prayer Time: Praise God for the impact of those who were influential in sharing Christ with you. Pray that you could faithfully endure whatever comes your way as a testimony of your faith.

  • Warm Up

    1. Identify some ways your life has and is changing because of your relationship with Christ.

    Read 2 Timothy 2:14-19

    2. Why is important to remind believers about God’s faithfulness and grace? (See 2:1-13)

    3. What are the dangers of fighting over doctrinal minutiae? What leads people to this kind of quarreling? (v.14)

    4. How do these disputes lead people down a path of destruction? (v.14)

    5. Instead of quarreling, what was Paul’s challenge to Timothy (and us)? (v.15)

    6. How can we interpret God’s word correctly? What should we remember? (v.15)

    7. What are ways people mishandle God’s word that leads others astray?

    8. What are examples of worldly and profane chatter? Why is it important that we avoid this kind of talk? (v.16-17a)

    9. Describe ungodliness in the context of this passage. (v.16b)

    10. How is the spread of inappropriate conversations described? What does this tell us about this danger? (v.17a)

    11. How does James describe the power and potential damage of our speech? (James 3:5-12)

    12. How did Hymenaeus and Philetus abandon the truth of the gospel? What was the impact of their apostasy? (v.18)

    13. Even when so called leaders abandon the truth, how can we have confidence and faithfully endure? (v.19)

    14. How do we show we are true believers? How does this confront the Christian “in name only?” (v.19b; James 2:14-20)

    For Your Prayer Time: Thank God for his faithfulness in protecting you as his child. Ask God to give you a heart to desire his truth and the understanding to understand the Bible.

  • Warm Up

    1. Identify a tool or appliance that you have found very helpful and one that hasn’t been useful that you still own. What makes one useful and the other not?

    Read: 2 Timothy 2:20-26

    2. Paul uses a picture of the different kinds of equipment found in a great house. How does he contrast these? What makes them different? (v.20)

    3. What use of a vessel that is honorable? Dishonorable? (v.20)

    4. What is necessary for a believer to be that instrument of honor to our Lord? (v.21)

    5. How does the picture of washing a pot or pan relate to believers and our usefulness to God? (v.21)

    6. Explain how the characteristics Paul identifies make a person useful to God? Why would not having these character qualities disqualify a person? (v.21)

    7. Continuing his theme of being a vessel for honorable use, what are we are challenged to flee and pursue? Explain. (v.22)

    • Youthful passions
    • Righteousness
    • Faith
    • Love
    • Peace

    8. Why are relationships with other believers important as we seek to serve God? How have you seen this to be true?(v.22)

    9. What kinds of discussions are pointless or harmful? Can you give an example? How is this related to verses 14-16? (v.23)

    10. What do we learn about a person who loves to argue? (v.23-24)

    11. Instead of arguing, how are we to approach controversial topics? (v.24-25a)

    12. What is God’s role when we correct a brother or sister who is straying from the truth? What is the goal? (v.25-26)

    13. What is the danger for the one who gets caught up in controversies? (v.26)

    For Your Prayer Time: Confess to God any area in your life that may bring dishonor to Christ. Thank God for cleansing you of all unrighteousness. Ask him to make you a useful tool in his hands.

  • Warm Up:

    1. We all face difficulties. Identify something you have faced that was hard? What made it difficult?

    Read: 2 Timothy 3:1-9

    The Apostle Paul was no stranger to difficulty. He faced all sorts of trials and persecution for proclaiming the gospel. Now he faces his imminent execution.

    2. What kinds of difficulty will believers face for their faith? (v.1; see also 1 Thess 3:4; Romans 8:16-17; Phil. 1:29; 1 Pet. 3:14, 17;)

    3. Describe some of the ways that Paul suffered for Christ. (2 Cor. 11:22-29)

    4. Why is it important to understand we will face difficult days in living for Christ?

    5. Contrast the following with what God expects in our lives. (v.2-4)

    6. Give examples for the following:

    • Heartless
    • Unappeasable
    • Brutal
    • Treacherous
    • Reckless

    7. How is “having the appearance of godliness” contrasted with real godliness? What are examples today?(v.5)

    8. Instead of being self-controlled, how are religious imposters described? (v.6)

    9. How are the false teachers described regarding their approach to and understanding of God’s truth? (v.7-8)

    10. In the end, where do we find confidence? (Matt. 7:17-20)

    11. Why do those who are “religious,” but not true believers in Christ, persecute those who seek to live for Christ?

    12. How does a person’s life either support or disqualify someone from ministry? (v.8b-9)

    For your prayer time: Thank God for giving you eternal life and that no one can take it from you. Pray that your life will show forth Christ-likeness.

  • Warm Up:

    1. We are impacted by the another person’s faith. Who were some people who were influential in your growing faith in Christ? How did they influence you?

    Read: 2 Timothy 3:10-17

    2. Why is it important to be models of faith in Christ? Who will your example impact? (v.10-11)

    3. Explain the breadth of Paul’s example as it impacted Timothy. (v.10-11)

    4. Describe the suffering Paul experienced:

    5. How did the Lord rescue Paul from the persecutions listed above? How would this give Timothy courage as he faced affliction?

    6. Why do those who desire to live godly face persecution? How does God use this in the lives of the believer? The observant unbeliever? (v.12)

    7. In contrast to the godly who are persecuted, what is true of imposters and evil men? How does this relate to what Paul writes in Romans 1:18ff? (v.13)

    8. In light of the persecution we will face, what challenge does Paul give Timothy? How does this relate to Jesus’ command to abide? (v.14; John 15:4-7)

    9. What value has Timothy gained from knowing God’s word? (v.15)

    10. What is the Biblical concept of inspiration? How is he Bible different from other writings? (v.16)

    11. Explain the following benefits of God’s word:

    • Teaching
    • Reproof
    • Correction
    • Training in righteousness
    • Completeness
    • Equipped for good works

    12. How have you seen the above benefits played out in your life as you have learned more about God’s word?

    For Your Prayer Time:  Thank God for the power of God’s word in your life. . . To lead you to faith in Christ. . . To teach you God’s plans. . . To correct you when you’ve gone astray . . . And to prepare you to serve him better.

  • Warm Up:

    After you have died, how would you like those around you to remember your walk with Christ? Write it out.

    Read 2 Timothy 4:1-8

    In anticipating his execution, Paul wraps up his short letter to Timothy with a few more exhortations. This reveals what is important in ministry—a pastor’s ministry and our own.

    2. How does Paul emphasize the importance of what he has yet to say to Timothy? (v.1)

    3. Why would Paul identify Jesus as our judge? How would this free a person from being concerned about what others think? (v.1)

    4. What are the various elements of ministry to others? Why are they important? How are they all related? (v.2)

    5. Why is patience with people important in working with others? When do you struggle with patience? (v.2b)

    6. Why do people turn away from the clear teaching of God’s word? Where does this lead them? Give an example (v.3-4)

    7. What can we do to maintain sound doctrine within the church?

    8. How can we apply Paul’s exhortation in verse 5 to our personal ministry?

    9. How does Paul view his coming death? (Look up “drink offering" at (v.6)

    10. How does Paul evaluate his life and ministry? How does this relate to Jesus’ story of the talents? (v.7-8; see also Matt. 25:14-23)

    11. Paul uses the illustration of a fighter and runner. How does this relate to his previous teaching in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27? What do we need to do to finish well? (v.7)

    What reward does Paul anticipate when he sees Jesus face to face? How does the love of Christ’s appearing provide motivation in living for Christ?

    If you met Jesus face to face tomorrow, looking back what would want to change in preparation?

    For your prayer time: Ask God to help you live for Christ and finish well as you anticipate his return. Pray that you will be able to pass on your faith to family and friends.

  • Warm Up

    Explain how your relationships with the church and Growth Group have provided encouragement for your faith.

    Read 2 Timothy 4:9-22

    As The Apostle Paul described his coming martyrdom as his blood being poured out as a drink sacrifice to God. He looked forward to seeing Jesus face to face and the reward he would receive for faithful service.

    As Paul awaits his execution, why would he want fellow believers to be with him during this hour? (v.9-12)

    Why did Demas desert Paul? What does this characteristic look like today? (v.10)

    Many believe that John Mark was present at the arrest of Jesus and included a story found only in his gospel. If this is true, what do we learn about John Mark? (Mark 14:51-51)

    Why was John Mark in the center of the conflict between Paul and Barnabas in Acts 15:37-40?

    How does Paul describe Mark at this time? How does this encourage you about our potential to grow in Christ? (v.11)

    In his last days, why would Paul want Timothy to bring his books and parchments? Why is it important to continue learning God’s word until we meet Jesus face to face? (v.13)

    How does Paul describe the support he received when he stood trial? (v.15-17)

    How does Paul connect his experience with that of Daniel 6:1-22? How could this been a reference to being cast into the arena with wild animals/lions? (v.17-18)

    Jesus warns us that we may be called upon to give testimony concerning our faith before a hostile audience. What is his promise? (Matt 10:16-22)

    How was Paul’s experience during his trail an example of what Jesus promised? (v.17; Matt. 10:19-20)

    How does an eternal perspective impact how we view our present struggles? (v.18)

    How does Paul describe what to expect when we die? (v.18; Phil. 1:21-23)

    For your prayer time: Thank God for the promise of eternal life and his support and presence during difficult trials. Pray that your witness will shine brightly to all around.