2 Timothy 4 Reading Guide

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Chapter Summary

  • v1-5 - There's no shortage of advice for what pastors ought to be doing, and certainly much of this advice is good. But all of Paul's advice to pastors can be summed up in two phrases:

1. Preach the Word

  • This is job #1, and nothing should get in the way of it.

  • Notice how Paul writes preach the word, not just the gospel or the good news or even just preach Christ. Certainly all of these things are necessary subsets of the Word, but none of these concepts really make sense unless they are presented in the context of the entire Bible.

  • Although formal preaching on the Lord's Day is certainly the primary way this is done, preachers must be prepared at any moment, in season and out, to present the Word.

  • The Word is a true multi-tool. It corrects, rebukes and encourages.

  • We must understand that most people don't want to hear the Word preached.

  • It's not that people don't want to hear about God or Jesus or love or things like that, but they want to reshape God's revealed truth to fit their own preconceived categories and definitions.

  • There will always be righteous sounding empty suits eager to fill this market with vanity and nicely decorated lies.

2. Be ready for anything

  • The phrase that opens v5 is one of the most awesome in the New Testament, and the fact that every translation treats it differently shows how complex it is:

  • NIV: "Keep your head in all situations." Don't be surprised by anything.

  • ESV: "Be sober-minded." Don't be intoxicated by the lies of the world.

  • NET: "Be self controlled in all things."

  • I like the way the 1984 NIV translates the same word which is used in 1 Peter 1:13 - "Prepare your mind for action."